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THE LANSDOWNE POETS. 



THE POETICAL WORKS 



OF 



CHARLES MACKAY, 

NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME COLLECTED. 



COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME. 



' Spirit of PoeS3', 
Dark were the world if thy light should depart.' Epilogut. 




portrait unb riginn! Illustrations. 

LONDON : 
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO., 

BEDFORD STREET, STRAND. 



PR 

\ 



CLAY AND TAYLOR, POINTERS. 



PREFACE. 



THIS Book contains the substance of ten small volumes published between the 
years 1839 and 1870. Many of these have gone through four and five editions, and 
are now out of print. The volume also includes several pieces published anonym- 
ously in periodicals and magazines during the last ten years, and which have not 
before been collected, as well as others now for the first time printed. The poems 
in the series entitled " Drum Beats and Alarm Bells " were not originally published 
in this form, or as a connected whole, but were scattered over various periodicals 
between the years 1847 and 1873. They are now brought into one focus, to show 
their unity of thought and purpose, and to make them reflect light upon each 
other, and upon some of the most memorable events of the successive revolutions 
that have afflicted France for upwards of eighty years, and that are not yet 
concluded. 

The volume, rearranged and carefully revised, contains as complete a collection 
of his poetical works as the author desires to make. If it include compositions 
which merit no higher designation than that of verse a fact of which the author 
is painfully aware he can only urge in extenuation of his fault in reproducing 
them, that these particular compositions such as 'There's a good time coming/ 
' Cheer, boys, cheer,' and others of a like class were and till are highly popular, 
and that the collection might by many, in whose opinion he desires to stand well, 
be held incomplete without them. In whatever he has written he never courted 
popularity, but simply wrote because he could not help uttering the thought 
that was in him, and because the thought spontaneously took the lyrical form. 
And if some of his worst compositions have been the greatest favourites of the 
public, and some of his very best have remained unknown, he attributes the fact, 
not to the public love of inferiority, but to the constant iteration that is the result 
of a melody which pleases the ear, and floats upon the memory of the people. 

London, September, 1876. 



CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION 



PAGE 
1 



JUVENILE POEMS : 
N iente Senza 1' Amore : 

Part I. The Prayer of Adam, 

alone in Paradise . . 8 

Part II. The Dream of the 
Shipwrecked Mariner . . 9 

SACRED MELODIES : 

I. ' And God said. Let there be 
light!' . . 11 

II. Weeping for the Dead . 11 

III. The Dove of Noah. . 11 

IV. Repentance. . .11 

V. Saul and David . . 12 

VI. God in the Storm . . 12 

VII. The Infinitude of Mercy . 12 

The Abolition by Great Britain of 
Slavery in her Colonial Posses- 
sions . . . .13 
False Hero-worship } . . 13 
A Reverie in the Storm . . 14 
The Sea- shore V . . . 16 
The Wood-nymph . I *> -\ . 16 
To an Eagle . .,, .16 
Night and Silence . " : i ' . 16 
The Lark . . ., . 17 
The Autumn Leaf . . .17 
To Romance -';'' ';''' . 17 
The Indian's War-song . .18 
Thirteen at Table; a Vision of 
Death . . . .18 

THE MAID OF MORA : 

Introduction . . .21 

Canto I. The Watch-fire . 23 

Canto II. The Soldier's Return 27 

Canto III. Love Betrayed . 30 

Canto IV. Hope and Fear . 34 

Canto V. The Bridal Feast . 38 

Canto VI. The Doom . . 44 

Canto VII. The Triumph of 

Love , . 48 



PACK 

HIGHLAND GATHERINGS AND LE- 
GENDS OF THE ISLES : 
Prologue. The Highland Ramble 56 
The Sea-King's Burial . . 62 

The Dance of Ballochroy . . 64 

St Columba ; or the Counting of 

the Isles . . . .67 

The 'Dream,' by Beauly, Ross- 
shire . . . .70 
The Invasion of Scotland by the 

Norsemen ftj>,j r ,-".' 71 
The Eve of Flodden . . 77 

The Kelpie of Corrievreckan . 78 
Lord Nithsdale's Dream in the 

Tower of London . . 80 

The Shoal of Whales -'V;-' . 82 
The Witch of Skerrievoro . . 84 

The Burn of Aberiachan . . 85 

The Wraith of Garry Water . 86 
The Lady of Duart's Vengeance . 88 
The Bridge of Glen Aray , . 91 

The Planting of the Acorns . 92 

The Fall of Foyers, Loch Ness, In- 
verness-shire . . 93 
Foyers before the Fall . . 93 
The Nameless Mountain Stream . 94 
A Father at the Pool of St Fillans 95 
The Mountain-top . .. .96 
Voices in the Air . . .98 
Ault na Mhina, or the Burn of 

Minnie . . s .. . 99 

Maclaine's Child, a Legend of 

Lochbuy, Mull . . .99 

Kilravock Tower . . .101 

Lament of Cona for the Unpeo- 
pling of the Highlands . . 102 
The Visions of Michael Scott, the 
Wizard. An Ode for the Walter 
Scott Centenary . . .105 

EGERIA, or the Spirit of Nature : 

Canto I. The Seashore . 109 

Canto II. The Fountain . 114 

Canto III. The Still Waters . 119 



CONTENTS. 



Vll 



PAGE 

Canto IV. The Upland Stream 124 
Canto V. The Mountain-top . 130 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 
Australia : 

Part I. . 

Part II. . 

Part III. 

Part IV. . 
Epilogue . 



A Legend of 



137 
141 
P6 
149 
155 



A MAX'S HEART : 

Prologue . . . .157 

Canto I. Among the Flowers . 158 

Canto II. Under the Trees . 164 

Canto III. Far away . .170 

Canto IV. Sorrow . . 177 

Canto V. Hope . . 184 

Canto VI. Happiness . . 190 

Canto VII. Love Eternal . 195 

VOICES FROM THE CROWD : 

The Voice of the Time . . 204 

The Cry of the People. (Before 

the Ilepeal of the Corn Laws.) . 205 
The Watcher on the Tower . 207 

Clear the Way . . .209 

The Good Time Coming . . 209 

The Wants of the People . . 210 

The Three Preachers . .211 

Old Opinions . . .211 

Daily Work . . .212 

A Dream of the Coming Years. 
[Written foi- the Anti-slavery 
Convention.] . . . 213 

Railways .... 214 
The Fermentation . . .215 

The Poor Man's Sunday Walk . 215 
The Dream of the Reveller . 216 

The Poet and the Political Econo- 
mist . . .217 
To a Friend afraid of Critics . 218 
British Freedom . . .221 
Freedom and Law . . . 221 
An Invocation in aid of a Great 

Cause . . . .222 

The Young Men's Petition to 
their Employers. (Written at 
the request of the Friends of the 
Early Closing Movement at 
Ipswich.) . . . 223 

The Prayer of the Mammonites . 223 
A Visit to Bedlam . . .224 

You and I . . . . 228 

' Bowing Down. ' A Portrait taken 

in Pall Mall . . .228 

The Secret of Successful Lying . 229 
The Poor Man's Riches . . 230 



The Floating Straw. A Thought 

in Commercial Panic 
A Question answered 
What might be done 
Said I to Myself, said I 
Thoughts . 
Cleon and I 
The little Moles . 
Let us alone 
Eternal Justice 



PAGE 

231 
231 
232 
232 
233 
234 
234 
235 
235 



LONDON LYRICS: 
What Big Ben ' said to London 

at Midnight . . . ' 237 

Street Companions . . . 238 

The Light in the Window . . 239 

Mary and Lady Mary ; or, Next- 
door Neighbours . . 240 
Above and Below . . . 241 
John Littlejohn . . .241 
The Poor Man's Bird . . 242 
Unknown Romances . . 243 
The Mowers. An Anticipation of 

the Cholera . . .244 

The Phantoms of St Sepulchre . 245 
The Souls of the Children. A Plea 

for National Education . 248 

May Mary Part I. . . 249 

Part II. . . 250 

A Confabulation . . .251 

The Lone Lawyer at Home in 

Chambers . . . 252 

The Hall Porter at the Club . 253 
False Hair . . . .253 

The Departure of the Innocents . 254 
Help ' . . .254 

A Wretched Man's Defiance to 

Self-slaughter . . .255 

An Appeal .... 256 
The Lord of Castle Crazy . . 256 

Throwing Stones in the Sea . 256 

What Smeldungus said to his 

Young Friend . . .257 

Strawberries . . .257 

Modern Children . . . 258 

The Passing Crowd . . 259 

At a Club Dinner . . .260 

Happiness . . . .261 

Let the Donkeys bray ! . .261 

The Coming Time . . .262 

BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS : 

The Old and the New . . 263 

Tubal Cain . . .266 

The Founding of the Bell . . 267 

Life's Companions . . . 268 

Castles in the Air . . .269 

A Candid Wooing . . .269 



Vlll 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Real and Ideal. A Fragment . 270 
Little Fools and Great Ones . 275 

Lost and Won . . 275 

Love Aweary of the World . 277 

The Lover's Second Thoughts on 

World-weariness . . 278 

The Drop of Water . . ' 278 

Young Genius . . . 280 

Love in Hate . . . 281 

The Praise of Women . . 282 

Ninette . . . .282 

The Quarrel . . .283 

Waterloo Bridge . . .284 

The two Nightingales. An Apo- 
logue for Poets . . .284 
The Wanderers by the Sea. An- 
other Apologue for Poets . 286 
Angel Visits . . .289 
Jubal and his Children . . 291 
Youth and Sorrow . . .292 
Endurance . . . .293 
The Man and the Atom . . 293 
Remembrances of Nature . . 294 
A Defiance . . .. .296 
Alternation. Advice to a nard 

Student . . . .296 

The Spirit of the Blue-bell. (Sug- 
gested by a beautiful Basso- 
relievo by R. Westmacott.) . 297 
A Fancy under the Trees . . 298 

The Seven Angels of the Lyre . 300 
A Plea for our Physical Lffe . 302 
The Ivy in the Dungeon . . 304 

Summer Shades . * ; " . 305 
The Garden Spider . .305 

The Old Year's Remonstrance . 307 
The New Year's Promises . 308 

The Tick of the Clock . . 309 

Winifred . . . .310 

The Blind Man's Fireside . 311 

The Festival of St Marc. During 
the Austrian occupation of Ve- 
netia . . . .311 

The Old Magdalen at St Stephan's 314 
The Pageant in the Beech-tree 

Avenue .... 315 
The Invisible Crown . . 318 

Man to Man . . 319 

At the Grave of Robert Bums . 320 
My Neighbour . . . .321 

Professor Schlafhaube, of the Uni- 
versity of Heidelberg. A Por- 
trait from the Life . . 322 
A Bard's Request . . .323 
The Man and the Mountain . 324 
To One who was afraid to speak 

his mind on a Great Question . 325 
The Stag Hound . . .326 



PAGE 

Imogen's Journey. The Mesmer- 
ist and the Clairvoyante . 328 
Melodies and Mysteries . . 330 
The Man in the Dead Sea. An 

Apologue . . .331 
The Follower '. . .334 
We are Wiser than we know . 335 
The Child and the Mourners . 336 
The Water Tarantella . ' . 337 
The Earth and the Stars . . 339 
The Young Earth * . 340 
The Golden Madness; an Apo- 
logue . ... . .341 

Now . ' . . .343 

The Vision of Mockery . . 344 
The King and the Nightingales. 

A Legend of Havering . . 350 

The Nine Bathers . . . .352 

A Doom and a Confession . . 354 

A Reverie in the Grass . . 359 

Follow your Loader . . 361 
The Wayside Spring in Alabama . 363 

UNDER GREEN LEAVES : 

One Half-Hour . . 364 

Lull ings worth . .367 

The Two Houses . . 372 

The Briony Wreath . .372 

The Interview . . 373 

The Stepping- Stones .374 
The Musician : 

Part I. Earth-Sorrows . 374 
Part II. Hell-Pains . . 375 
Part III. Heaven- Joy s . 375 
Hornyhand ', . . 376 
Obverse and Reverse : 
Part I. The Sempstress . 377 
Part II. The Empress . 377 
Suppositions . . .377 
The Cobbler . . .378 
Tell me no more . . . . 380 
Gideon Gray . . .380 
The Mountain Torrent . . 381 
The Voluntary . . . 381 
Meops . . . .383 
Beauty and Love ... . 383 
Faith, Hope, and Charity . 383 
In God's Acre . . .384 
An Acorn . . . .384 
The Rewards of Song . . 384 
Mist . . . .385 
The Dance of the Trees. A Mid- 
summer Fancy . . . 387 
Cracklethorn . . .389 
Angling .'" / . .389 
Joan of Arc . . . 390 
Storm Approaching . . 391 
The Silent Hills , . 393 



CONTENTS. 



The Mock Jewels . 

Hate in the Pulpit 

The Ship . 

The Great Critics . 

Thor's Hammer 

At Home in Staten Island 



PAGE 
394 
395 
396 
396 
397 
402 



DIIUM BEATS AND ALARM BELLS ; 
or, Pictures of Paris, from 1789 
to 1873 : 
The Battle of Change, 1789 . 404 

The Roaring of the Sea, 1793 . 406 
The Death-Banquet of the Giron- 

dins . . . .407 

The Saints at St Ouen . .417 

Napoleon and the Sphynx . 419 

The Vision of Danton . . 420 

An Appeal to Paris . . 422 

King Smith . . .423 

Louis Philippe's Welcome to Eng- 
land . . . .424 
A Warning Voice to the Parisians 425 
Pulling the Wires ; or the Crowd 

at a Puppet-show . . 426 

The Courtship of Anarchy . 427 

The Red Republic . . 428 

Fraternity . . .429 

The Roman Girl . . .429 

Living Greatness. To Alphonse 

de Lamartine . . . 430 

Rome under French Protection . 431 
The Column of Luxor . . 431 

Under the Second Empire ; Panic 

at the Bourse . . .433 

The Crimean War ; Inkermann . 434 
By the Rhine . . .436 

The Sister Spirits. An Invoca- 
tion for Christmas, during the 
Franco-German War, 1870 . 438 
From Bordeaux to Paris, 1871. 
The Dove of Fifteen Thousand 
Messages . . .439 

Brother! No! Thou shalt not 

Die .... 440 

The Kaiser's Crown . . 440 

The Walpurgis Dance. During 

the Reign of the Commune, 1871 442 
The Hymn of the Commune . 443 
The Brotherhood of Nations. An 

Anticipation . . . 444 

Napoleon III. : Chislehurst, Jan- 
uary, 1873 . . .446 
The Prospects of the Future . 447 

STUDIES FROM THE ANTIQUE : 
Preface to the Second Edition . 450 
The Eumenides : aVision of Thales 451 
Astraea ; or, the Departure of the 
Gods . 453 



PAGE 

Acantha .... 457 

Marsyas ; or the False Critic . 458 

The Wish of Midas . . 460 

Proteus ; or Genius . . 463 
Bacchus and Evan the, or the Use 

and Abuse of Wine . . 465 

The Vestal Fire Extinguished . 468 

Chiron, or the Beauty of Death . 470 

Dynamene, or Buried Empires . 472 

Sisyphus . . . 475 
Momus, or the Dangers of the 

Truth . . . .476 

Iphianassa in Dodona . . 478 

The Prayer of the Priest of Isis . 481 

Health, or larchus and his Rings 482 

The Garden of Nemesis . . 484 

Admetus .... 485 

Phidias in his Studio . . 487 

The Dream of Anacreon . . 488 

Cassandra . . . .489 

Ino nursing Bacchus . . 490 

Enceladus, or Defiance to Fate . 493 

Orpheus in Thrace . . 493 

The Death of Pan . . 495 

SKETCHES FIIOM NATURE : 

Heart- Sore in Babylon : 

I. Self-assertion . 497 

II. The Right to Disdain 499 

III. A Prayer for Rest 499 

IV. Losses . . 499 

V. Never alone . 499 

VI. A Name on a Tree 500 

VII. Consolation . 500 

VIII. The Lost Jewel 500 

IX. The Fair Serpent 501 

X. A Prayer for Peace 501 

XI. The Worn-out Pen 502 

XII. The Sure Estate 502 

Great-Grandfather . 503 

The Fight in the Sanctuary 503 

The Sigh of the Pine-Tree 506 

The Old Man by the River 505 

The Hedge in the Green Lane 506 

The Ivy and the Bell . 507 

The Great Overthrow . 508 

Ithuriel ... 509 

In the Greenwood . . 510 

The Beautiful Unbeautiful 511 

The King's Visitors . 511 

Apples . . . 511 

The ' War-Christian.' An Ameri 

can Portrait . . 512 

Flowers and Children . 512 
The Red and Yellow Leaf in Octo 

ber . . . 513 

The Rim of the Bowl . 513 

The Noble Spirits . . 514 



CONTENTS. 



FACE 

The Bard's Last Song . .516 

The Witch . . .519 

SONGS Foa Music : 

Preface to the Second Edition . 62C 

Happy Love . . . 520 

The Language of the Trees . 521 

Little, but Great . . .522 
John Brown, or a Plain Man's 

Philosophy . ,; . ,'" .522 

The Astronomer . "' , . 52 4 

The Rose's Errand . . 524 

The White Dove . . .524 

Love in all Seasons . . 525 

When, Where, and How . . 525 

Believe if you can . . 526 

When first ray fancy '. . 626 

Buried Griefs . . -. 527 

Oh, say, fond Heart . . 527 

The Confabulation . . 528 

Contrasts . . . .528 

By the lone sea-shore . . 529 

'Tis merry in the mead . . 530 

Time : the Consoler ''.*'- . 631 

The Secrets of the Hawthorn . 531 

Shall Love be for ever the 

theme of the song ? . .532 

Dudley Castle . . .532 

Come back ! Come back ! . 633 

Many changes I have seen . 633 

The Sympathy of the Bells . 534 

The Fisherman and his Wife . 535 

Trade and Spade . . .635 

Happy Winter . . .536 

Cold Christmas ? No ! . .637 

Ellen Evelina . . .637 

William the Conqueror . . 638 

Proud Beauty . . .538 
The Festival of Labour. Written 
for the Opening of the Great 

Exhibition of 1851 . . 639 

Noon-Time in the Shade . . 539 

Summer Rain . 'V . 640 

The Gin-Fiend . . L ; : - . 640 

Protestations . . . 541 

Hospitality . . . 542 

Good Heart and Willing Hand . 542 

The Lost Day . . . 543 

O ye tears ! . . . 543 

Forbearance . . .644 

A Cry from the Deep Waters . 544 

The Giant . . ; . - .545 

The Magic Harp . . .545 

THE EMIGRANTS : a Series of 
Songs for a Musical Entertain- 
ment. 

I. The Parting Tear] . 646 

II. Cheer boys! cheer! . 646 



PAGE 

III. Far, far upon the sea . 547 
IV. Land! Land! . . 548 

V. To the West ! To the West ! 549 
VI. The Pioneers . . 549 

VIL Sunshine after Rain . 550 
VIII. When I was a little 

child . . . .5,50 

IX. The Canadian Sleigh Song 551 
X. Down with them . 651 

XI. Up the stream! through 

the wood . . . 552 

XII. Long parted have wo 

been . . . .553 

The Queen of the World . . 5-34 

The Glory of the Flag . . 5-54 

A Dirge for Wellington . . 655 

England over All . . . 55,5 

Our swords are sheathed . . 556 

Derwentwater . . . 556 

Tell me, oh tell mo ' . . 557 

Why do I love thee ? . 557 

Differences .... 557 
The Stone, the Clod, and the Harp 558 
The Evenings . . .558 

Sceptre, Crown, and Throne . 659 
Old John Jenkins . . .559 

The Blessed Rain . . .659 

The Iron Ship .... . 560 
The Beauty and the Bee . . 560 

Jones . ; v ; ; ;'.' . 661 
Long-parted friends . . 561 

Breathe again that song of sadness 562 
The Swallow and the Robin . 662 
If his heart never throbb'd with 

affection . . . .562 

The Dreams of Youth . . 663 

The Boatman . . .563 

The Silvery Birch . .'. i ' . 664 
I lay in sorrow, deep distress* d . 664 
The Nightingale and the Lark . 564 
Old King Coal . . .665 

The Light of Love . . 666 

The Green Lanes of England . 667 
The Flower and Chain . . 667 

The Beautifier . . .568 

The Woodland Stream . . 568 

Witches and Fairies . . 569 

The Barley and the Hop . . 569 

Fall, oh ! fall . . .670 

Honest Old Words . . 570 

The Master-Keys . . . 670 

The Names on the Beech-Tree . 571 
Hal and his Friends . . 571 

Wine and Glory 4 a . 572 

Oh, leave her to her grief . 572 

The Flower of December . . 573 

The linnet must sing, though 
the falcon may hear . . 673 



CONTENTS. 



XI 



PAGE 

Be wise, vagrant Fancy . 573 

Fair and True . . . 574 
When I recall what Love has 

done .... 574 
The wintry winds . .574 
"When song, to cheer the heart of 

man .... 575 

I'm but Little Nobody . . 575 

The Eolian Harp . . 576 

Notice to Quit . . 577 
My Garden Gate . .577 

Wild Flowers . . 578 

The Sober Wine . . 578 
Procrastinations . .578 

The Exile of Cloudland . . 579 

Under the Holly Bough . . 580 

The man who will not merry be . 580 
The Chimes . . .581 

Farewell to the woodlands . 581 

The Maying : an Invitation . 582 

Love's Questions and Replies . 582 

Youth's Warning . . 582 

* I love my Love ' . . . 582 

You love me not . . . 583 

The Blue Sky . . 583 

The Chimney Corner . . 584 

Trusting Heart . . . 584 

O thou who in danger and strife 584 

Joys of the past . . . 585 

Could we recall departed joys . 585 

The Miller of the Dee . . 585 
Stay ! stay ! vision of youth and 

grace! . . . .586 

Indifference . . . 586 

The Minstrel's Consolation . 587 

Seasons and Reasons . . 587 

'Mid the New-mown Hay . 588 

Say no more that Love deceives . 589 
The Wines . . .589 

The Woodman . . . 590 

The Three Flowers . . 590 
The Origin of Wine ; a Thought 

from the German . . 591 

The Death-Song of Thaliessin . 591 

Careless .... 592 

The Rapid Stream . . 592 

A Lover's Dreams . . 592 

Castle Athelstone . . . 593 

The Haunted Bali-Room . . 593 

The Hawthorn and the Ivy . 593 
The Eglantine . . .594 

Love ; New and Old . . 594 

Love Defended . . . 594 

Who shall be fairest ? , . 595 

The Last Quarrel . . . 595 

Flowers in the Stream . . 596 

A Hand to take . . . 595 



PAGE 

Love will find out the Way . 596 

Goodnight . . .597 
Each block of marble in the mine 597 

If I were a Voice . . 593 

Songs without words . . 599 

Catawba Wine \ . . 599 

Mountain Dew . . . 600 

The Highland Emigrants . 600 

Lochaber no more . . . 601 
Be quiet, do ! I'll call my mother 602 

If fairy talcs were true . . 602 

The Men of the North . . 602 

Returning Messengers . . 603 
The Tambourine Girl of Procida . 603 

Loving in vain . . . 604 

Dreaming ! idly dreaming ! . 604 

Good Company . . . 604 

Undeceived . . . 605 

Never again . . . 605 

The Primrose . . . 606 

Humphrey Dunn . . . 607 
A Vision .... 607 

The Inquiry . . . 607 

My Sweetheart . . . 608 

Her Ways . . . .608 

A Love-Curse . . . 609 

The Two Books . . .609 

The Daisies . . . 609 

Back again . . . 610 

Rolling Home . . . 610 

The Return Home . .611 

The Cup of Oblivion . . 612 

If I die first . . .613 

A Highland Coronach. . . 613 

Forlorn . . . .614 

By the Meadow Stila . . 614 

Evermore Nevermore . . 614 

Hush, Nature . . .615 

Good-Morrow . . . 615 

A Song, after a Toast i . .615 

Dying. A Chorus of Angels . 616 

The Brook . , .616 

Vanity let it be . . .617 

Spirits and Angels . .617 

Love is dead . . . 617 

The Little Man . . .618 

Hey ! the green Holly ! . .618 

A Christmas Glee . . .618 
Only a passing thought, my love 619 

There's a land, a dear land . 619 

Come if you dare ! A Song for 

the Volunteers . . .620 

A man's a man for a' that. [A 

new song to an old tune.] . 620 

The Bonnie Burnie . . 621 

Scotland's Name and Fame . 621 

The Scottish Volunteer* . 621 



xn 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Unhappy Love . . . 622 

A Poor Man's Song . . 622 

The Bard's Recompense : Living 623 

The Bard's Recompense : Dead . 623 



The Bard's Grave . 
EPILOGUE : Two Spirits of Song 
AN INVOCATION. 1876 



623 
624 

626 



INTRODUCTION. 



[THIS essay was prefixed in 1850 to ' Egeria, and other Poems/ and is reprinted 
in this place not only as an introduction to that poem, but to the whole collection, 
as fully expressing the author's idea on Poetry, the themes proper for poetical 
treatment, and the duties of the poet in an unpoetical time.] 

THOUGH it may look like a truism to assert that poetry has been the preacher 
of virtue, the inciter of heroism, and the refiner of society ; yet the fact needs 
repeating, in consequence of the misconception that seems to have arisen in our day 
on the true nature of poetry, and the duty of the poet. Modern civilization is said 
to be weary of poetry ; or, if not wearied with the poets of past ages, to be quite con- 
tented with them, and to wish for no more. The very name of poet has latterly 
been received with a sneer. The poet has been thought a trifler; the obstinate 
devotee of a defunct art, Avhich, in its most vigorous time, was only fitted for the 
amusement of the idle and the frivolous. This misconception results from various 
causes : partly from the ignorance or indifference of critics and philosophers ; partly 
from the more unpardonable indifference of some, not unworthy of the name of 
poets, who have depreciated their own calling ; and, in a still greater degree, from 
the incompetence of the vast multitude of persons who have been styled poets 
without any right to the title who have considered poetry and verse to be iden- 
tical, or who have not known that the hold of poetry upon the fancy and the 
imagination is secondary to its sway over the heart and the intellect, and that the 
true poet can preach and prophesy as well as sing. 

Lord Bacon did some harm in this respect. Being more conversant with the 
pretensions of the rhymers of his day than with the performances of the poets, he 
misstated the whole object of poetry. In his famous Essay on Truth, he asserted 
that the proper element of poetry was fiction, as distinguished from, and the oppo- 
site of, truth. ' One of the later schools of the Grecians,' said he, * is at a stand 
to think what should be in it, that men should love lies, where neither they make 
for pleasure.as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant ; but for the 
lie's sake. .But I cannot tell : this same truth is a naked and open daylight that 
doth not show the masques, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world half so 
stately and daintily as candlelight. Truth may, perhaps, come to the price of a 
pearl, that showetn best by day, but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or 
a carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A MIXTURE OP A LIE DOTH EVEII 
ADD A PLEASURE. One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy, " the wine 
of demons," because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow 
of a lie.' So said the great philosopher ; and so too many have believed, because 
they were told to believe by one who spoke with authority. Lord Bacon did not 
reflect on the abuse of this word, LIE. HE, of all men, ought not to have forgotten 
what he so well knew, that a fiction is not necessarily a HE. He should have 
remembered that fables are truths to the wise. Plato, though he would have 
banished poets from his ideal republic, meaning thereby the writers of licentious 



1 3 



2 INTRODUCTION 

and mischievous_ plays, and not the real poets, had more correct notions of the 
sublimity and divinity of poetry. He said that 'poetry comes nearer to vital 
truth than history' And this, indeed, is the secret source of the power and 
grandeur of poetry. The highest poetry approaches nearest to vital truth ; and 
poetry is only good and beautiful, and worthy to be loved and admired, in pro- 
portion as it identifies itself with the truth. No truth can be alien or inappro- 
priate to it. It embraces all things, and has no other bounds than the aspirations 
of the soul of man, its knowledge and enjoyment of the actual, and its nopes of 
the possible. While the world has thus been led astray by inconsiderate criticism, 
and while rhymers have written and published piles of wearisome books, founded 
upon this misconception, it is no wonder that poetiy has fallen into some disfavour 
with men who have something else to think of and to do than to read mere fictions, 
without any soul of truth ; inane repetitions, teaching nothing, containing nothing, 
and as worthless as Lord Bacon imagined all poetry to be. While such ideas 
have been considered criticism, the province of poetry has been restricted as a 
necessary consequence. The poet, top commonly by his own consent, has been 
tethered with a critical string. Criticism has said to him, ' You shall not touch 
upon religion ; that is not within your province. You shall not meddle with politics ; 
they are alien to you. You shall not travel into the regions of science ; for science 
and poetry are antagonistic. You may listen to the birds singing, the streams 
flowing, or the sea roaring ; you may make love verses, or write pastorals ; you 
may be passionate, or musical, or merry, or melancholy, if you will. All you have 
to do is to amuse us, and leave serious subjects alone.' Dr Johnson, in his Life 
of Akenside, informs us, that * with the philosophical or religious tenets of the 
author he had nothing to do ; his business was with his poetry.' And this he 
said, although his poetry could not be properly considered without the politics 
and religion which gave it a colour. Again, in his Life of Dr Watts, he hinted, 
what is known to have been his belief, that good poetry could not be written upon 
a religious topic. * It is sufficient for Watts/ said he, * to have done better than 
others, what no man has done well.' To introduce politics into poetry is thought 
to be wrong by many critics, who would think you injured them if you questioned 
their acuteness. * The union of politics with poetry,' say they, * is always hurtful 
to the politics, and fatal to the poetry.' In fact, they consider it unpardonable to 
wed them together ; or even to let the smallest love passage take place betwixt 
them ; ' as if/ say the objectors, ' we have not politics enough in the newspapers, 
in public places, at the very corners of the streets.' And they say right, if their 
idea of poetry be right ; but not right for those who have notions more exalted, and 
sympathies more extended. These objectors confound politics with party, which 
is a mistake; and they think poetry destined for mere amusement, which is 
another. They do not think that there are politics far better than any parties that 
ever were formed; and that the amusement found in poetry is a mere accident 
an extrinsic adornment only and that its object is to teach, exalt, and refine ; 
to inspire, like religion, the humble with dignity, the sad with comfort, the 
oppressed with hope ; to show the abundant and overflowing blessings of familiar 
things the riches, the beauty, and the beneficence of nature ; to fill all men with 
the love of God and of one another ; and to encourage society in its onward career 
from bad into good, and from good into better, through all Time into Eternity. 
The lovers of mere amusement have not reached this pinnacle, and do not see so 
goodly a prospect around them. But they ought to educate their faculties, until 
their minds can soar to these high regions, before they pronounce what poetry- 
ought not to be, and define the limits which it should not overstep. 

Yet, after all, it is not so surprising that critics should go wrong, when those 
who should be superior to the critics the poets themselves have set the bad ex- 



INTRODUCTION. 3 

ample. When Charles II. objected to Edmund Waller, that his verses upon 
Cromwell were better than those he had written about his lawful sovereign, 
Waller replied, ' Your Majesty knows that we poets succeed better in fiction than 
in truth.' In this pretty speech, he behaved like a courtier and a man of the 
world, but not like a poet, and committed treason to the majesty of his art. 

Mr Wordsworth, whose writings testify loudly to the utter untenableness of 
this theory, has also uttered a sentence which some have interpreted to the 
depreciation of his divine art. He says, in an essay supplementary to one of Ms 
early prefaces, ' that the appropriate business of poetry, her appropriate employ- 
ment, her privilege, her duty, is to treat of things not as they are, but as they 
appear ; not as they exist in themselves, but as they seem to exist to the senses 
and the passions.' It is, however, no depreciation of poetry to assert that its 
province is not to treat of things as they are. His meaning is, not merely && they 
are ; but to add to them a grace and a beauty over and above their positive exist- 
ence. He will not dimmish the existence of a thing, but he will increase its 
existence by the aid of the beauty perceived by the senses and given by the 
passions. He never considers that the province of poetry is the unreal against 
the real, the fictitious uninclusive of the true ; and against such a theory his 
poems are immortal evidence, as Milton's are, and Shakspeare's, and those of all 
great poets. 

Very many of those who restrict the domain of poetry are fain to admit, upon 
discussion, that religion and politics, in their highest sense, are legitimate sources 
of inspiration ; but they stipulate for pure religion, not sectarianism, and for 
catholic and national politics, not for party warfare. This being conceded and 
that poetry should enter within these precincts solely in search of, and for the 
promulgation of, truth they would, nevertheless, shut the door of science against 
it. Within this they will on no account suffer it to enter. ' The scholar,' says 
Madame de Stael, as quoted by D'Israeli the elder, in the fourteenth chapter of 
his Essay on the Literary Character, ' has nothing to say to the poet, the poet 
to the naturalist.' The author of Sketches of the History of Literature and 
Learning in England, published in Knight's Weekly Volumes, falls in a degree 
into this error. He says, in his notice of Darwin, that his scientific descriptions, 
in the Botanic Garden and the Loves of the Plants, 'display more ingenuity than 
poetry 'a judgment in which most men will agree. He goes on to say ( roetry 
and Science are two rival and hostile powers. Whenever anything has been 
reduced to matter of science, its poetical character is extinguished ; it ceases to 
appeal to any passion or affection. What was veneration or terror, religion or 
superstition, becomes satisfied and unimpassioned intelligence. Imagination is 
dethroned there ; its creative power abolished and destroyed, its transforming 
illumination made impossible. Even mere wonder, the lowest of all the imagina- 
tive states of mind, ceases, when the scientific comprehension is complete ; for, of 
course, when understood, no one thing is really more wonderful than another. 
* * * The tendency of science is to reduce and level ; the tendency of 
poetry is to magnify and exalt. Each, therefore, has its proper and peculiar 
ground. They cannot act in concert. In other words, it is impossible to treat 
any subject at once scientifically and poetically.' The author of the Pleasures 
of Hope expressed a similar sentiment in his celebrated Ode to 



the Rainbow 



' When Science from Creation's face 
Enchantment's veil withdraws, 

What lovely visions yield their place 
To cold material laws.' 



Both of these writers seem to be wrong in this particular, the first more especially 
so. No doubt the prose writer is quite correct in his condemnation of the tech- 



4 INTRODUCTION. 

nicalities and scientific minutiae of Darwin, and their incapability of poetical 
treatment ; but he carries his principle too far. Any one must have studied ' the 
great truths of science ' to little purpose, who can talk of the ' satisfied and unim- 
passioned intelligence' with which he comprehends them. Those truths, even 
the very least of them, are of sublimest import ; and it is not after such a manner 
that those who have most studied, and who know most of the ever wondrous, ever 
new revelations of science, would think it fitting for the humble spirit humble 
in the littleness of the highest knowledge to speak either of the known or the 
unknown agencies of the Indefinitude. Poetry may and must treat of the truths 
of science, wherever it suits its purpose to do so, or it abdicates a portion of its 
prerogative. This it can do without allusion to technicalities and trivialities, such 
as those which so offend us in the writings of Darwin. As for the solitary 
stanza of Campbell, no true poet will take it for his guide. No man knew better 
than Campbell that science was the nursing mother of poetry, who showed it 
whither to fly, and to what glorious regions to turn in search of new inspiration. 
In spite of his authority in this stanza, great as many will consider it, we, 
in our day, must acknowledge that the withdrawal by science of the -veil from 
creation's face, though it may deprive fancy of some filagree adornments, robs 
imagination of nothing. The rahiDOw has venerable associations 

' We think, its jubilee to keep, 

The first made anthems rang, 
On earth delivered from the deep, 
And the first poet sang.' 

But science, which shows us the secret wonders of its mechanism, adds a new 
delight to its contemplation, without depriving it of this. We see it spanning 
heaven like an arch ; we see it, if we stand upon the mountain-tops, developed 
into the complete circle ; we see its counterpart in the spray of the torrent on a 
sunny day ; and can produce Irises as often as we will, in the glancing drops cast 
upwards in the sunshine from the paddle-wheels of steamboats the same in their 

1 the other with 
the majesty, 

find that law to 

be, not cold, as Campbell sings, but warm and fruitful, producing invariable and 
inevitable results from the same causes. We see that both the cause and the 
effect are proofs of infinite wisdom and Divine goodness filling all nature with 
things of beauty, of which the contemplation increases our enjoyments and exalts 
our souls, and makes us fitter to be true men in this world, and to mount in the 
scale of creation in the next to a state of a higher intelligence, purer love, and 





inspires emotions still more sublime of the might and majesty of God, when we con- 
sider that His hand who made it, made also that awful intellect of man, which 
traces its course through the infinitude of space, and calculates its coming from afar. 
The sun is not less poetical as the centre of a vast system, than as a mere adjunct to 
the earth, set in the heavens to give her light, and to form the succession of her sea- 
sons. Ihe planets are not less ' the poetry of heaven ' because astrology is defunct. 
They do not the less loudly chant to the devout soul, in the silence and the 
splendour of the midnight, that 'the hand that made them is Divine/ because we 
believe them to be, like the kindred planet on which we live and move, the abode 
of myriads of immortal spirits, playing their allotted part in the mighty progres- 
sion of the universe. The stars, scattered in such seeming confusion over space, 
are not the less poetical because we, by the aid of science, have discovered order 



INTRODUCTION. 5 

amidst apparent disorder, because we have grasped the majestic secret of gravita- 
tion, and beheld the simplicity and the universality of the law which upholds and 
regulates them, in all the complication of their harmony. The Milky Way, as 
resolved into suns, systems, and firmaments, by the telescopes of Herschel and 
Lord Rosse, does not the less impress us with awe and adoration, because it is 
no longer a faint light in the heavens, but a congregation of innumerable worlds. 
The nebula in Orion, that white fleecy cloud on the far verge of space, does not 
become unpoetical when we know that it is a universe ; nor do we look upon that 
great constellation of Orion itself with less prostration of our feeble powers with 
less hopefulness that we too shall be made perfect, because science teaches us 
that our sun and all its train of planets are moving towards one of its stars ; and 
that, in this mystic development, the 6,000 years of recorded history multiplied 
by 6,000, and that product multiplied by itself, are but the fragment of a cycle, 
and the morning of a day. No ! Poetry is not inimical to Science, nor Science 
hostile to Poetry. Poetry is universal. It includes every subject ; and can no 
more be restricted in its range, than the Intellect, the Hope, and the Faith of 
man, of which it is the grandest exponent and the most sublime expression 
making Intellect more intellectual, Hope more hopeful, and Religion more 
religious. 

If we inquire into the subject of the duties of the poet in the present age, we 
should first of all consider what the age is what are its desires and aspirations 
what its characteristics, and at what point of human development it actually 
stands. That the age is utilitarian most men assert. Let us inquire what the 
word means. Mr Bentham either invented it for his philosophy, or it was fastened 
upon him by others. In either case it is a good word, if its meaning be not un- 
duly restricted. Some men are such strict utilitarians, that in the furnishing of 
a house (for the poor) they would exclude the ornamental. They would have the 
kitchen poker and the roasting-jack, the chair, the table, and the bed, the floor- 
cloth, and perhaps the curtains ; but not the picture, nor the bust, nor the poem, 
nor the play, nor the novel. These are a small class only. Utilitarianism is a 
much better thing than they would make of it. This class of people are rarely met 
with in private life, and if they preach such a doctrine, they rarely practise it. 
We sometimes hear of them in the House of Commons, where the money of the 
nation is begrudged for every purpose tending to the advancement of art, or litera- 
ture, or the encouragement of those who excel in them. But individual men are 
generally ashamed of such a restriction of their idea of utility. True utility by no 
means excludes the ornamental. It does not consider man as an animal only, but 
as a being with an immortal soul. Utilitarianism, in its widest and only true 
sense, includes the wants of both body and soul. It is not sufficient that we 
should gain victories over time, and space, and the obstruction of matter; but the 
mind has its cravings as well as the body, which must be satisfied. Utilitarianism 
of this kind is essentially popular and philanthropic. It requires that the bulk of 
mankind should be made physically comfortable, as a preliminary to their being 
mentally and spiritually happier than they are. Without losing any of their 
hopes of a higher state of existence in another world, or departing from the faith 
yhich teaches that hope, the leading spirits of the present day are very strongly 
impressed with the belief that this world can be made very much better than it 
is. Looking back to history, they find that man's career is but a record of crime ; 
that the many have been the victims of the evil passions of the few ; that bloody 
wars and debasing superstitions have filled the world with misery since time began ; 
that in the more peaceful periods of human history, when art, science, and learn- 
ing flourished when intellect gained its most splendid victories the great masses 
of mankind were sunk in physical or mental slavery and that in the bosom of 



G 



INTRODUCTION. 



civilization herself the multitudes have not participated in her benefits, but have 
been the prey of preventible poverty, disease, and crime. Reason and faith, and 
all experience, as far as it has gone, combine to show that this state of things is 
not a necessary consequence of man's nature. By looking about us, we see that 
many evils have been remedied; that a great many more are falling beneath the 
advances of intelligence, and the sublime doctrine of Christianity, that we ought 
to love one another ; and we are encouraged by that wliich has been already done 
to hope for much more. Science, by increasing the physical comforts of mankind, 
is preparing the way for mental blessings and mental progress, to an extent which 
to some minds seems Utopian to imagine, but which will be realized never- 
theless. All our physical conquests over matter are proofs and results of mental 
energies, working to various ends, and all of them we cannot doubt, though we 
may not yet understand, to ultimate spiritual, as well as physical, good. The utili- 
tarian, who confines utility to merely physical advantage, may deny in a great 
degree the usefulness of literature, and wholly deny the usefulness of poetry. 
Believing it to be founded on fiction ; to be, as the ancient father has it, ' the 
vain shadow of a lie/ he may say that he will have none of it ; and turn his mind 
to the contemplation of his money. But there are better and truer utilitarians 
than the men of this class ; who can see a good and a beauty in every manifest- 
ation of the human intellect. To utilitarians who believe this, poetry has as great 
a claim to respect as science or religion provided always it be TRUE poetry. It 
follows from the utilitarianism of the age if this be a correct definition of it that 
it is an earnest age ; for if facts be stubborn things, utility is an earnest and a 
thoughtful thing, and the man who would exert any influence over such an age, 
must liimself be thoroughly and hopefully in earnest. Hitherto, in England, the 
great fault of men of letters, as a class, has been a deficiency of earnestness. 
They have not loved their vocation. Notwithstanding all their vanity and 
pride, they have been ashamed of it. Their lot has been cast in a country 
where there was a tendency to wealth-worship, and a rush into all profes- 
sions or pursuits promising to success the rewards of wealth or rank. The man of 
letters has had no chance of either from his profession ; he has not been recog- 
nized at all ; and but too often thrown into it from a failure in other pursuits of 
life-|-like a friendless woman, who, losing her husband, sets up a day-school, or a 
Berlin wool-shop, as a last resource in her extremity. Too often, therefore, they 
have cringed to the powerful, or pandered to the passions and prejudices of the 
crowd. Writers of this class have done nothing for literature but degrade it 
They have impaired the respect of serious men for all literature that is not 
stamped with the seal of antiquity, or the approval of one generation of thinkers 
at least, and rendered more difficult the task of him who loves it and cultivates it 
for its own sake, independently of worldly recompense. Happily this earnestness 
of feeling, without which no good can be done, is increasing ; and the day seems 
to be approaching when an author will no more be ashamed of his profession than 
a lawyer or a divine, a painter or a physician, a merchant or a manufacturer. 
The new generation react books. A bold and craving spirit is abroad. Our living 
authors should remember that the great minds of the past preach to us evermore! 
By a divine privilege, we are enabled to converse with the mighty men who went 
before us. Their words and thoughts are perpetuated for our consolation, our in- 
struction, and our guidance. We weep for the sorrows, rejoice for the gladness, 
tremble with the fears, and glow with the hopes, of departed centuries And if 
our living writers will not fulfil then- high functions in as good a spirit as these 
they are unworthy of the high place that would otherwise be set apart for them 
They distract the attention of the age with their vain babble, and bring contempt 
upon a vocation which should be considered holy. We have books enough, and 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

more than enough. Hence the arduous task reserved for all writers, and more 
especially for poets, in the present clay for men who would reflect the age, and 
yet be in advance of it who would be of sympathies with it and yet beyond it 
who would give it the blossoms of their intellect with a full certainty that those 
blossoms, fair and flowery to this age, would be fruit to the ages which are to 
follow it. 

To think that because we are a practical people, living in a practical age, that 
we shall no more find pleasure in the varied beauty of nature, animate and inani- 
mate ; that the beams of the sun, or the mental sunshine of bright faces, shall 
fill us no more with delight ; that love, or hopes, or joys, or sorrows, shall no more 
affect us ; or that poetry, which refines and spiritualizes all these, shall be extin- 
guished by the progress of civilization, is mere lunacy. As civilization increases, 
the world will, doubtless, become more difficult to please in poetry. The wiser 
men grow, the less aptitude will they exhibit for being put off with shadows in- 
stead of realities. But poetry itself, purified and exalted, will all the more purify 
and exalt mankind. Those who speaK great truths from their fulness of heart, 
and enshrine them in noble words set to the music which stirs the blood, will never 
want listeners. The poets who would do that have an arduous but noble task. 
Such poets need not fear that they have fallen upon evil times for their vocation; 
if they be but in earnest with it, and will not make it their pastime, but the business 
and recompense of their lives. Let them put on their singing robes cheerily in 
the face of heaven and nature ; and wear them in a trustful and patient spirit, 
and speak that which is in them for the advancement of their kind and the glory 
of their Creator, and there will be no risk that they will be allowed to sing in the 
wilderness, ' no man listening to them ' 



JUVENILE POEMS. 1839. 



NIENTE SENZA L'AMOKE. 



PART I. 

THE PRAYER OF ADAM, ALONE IN PARADISE. 
L'aria, la terra e 1'acqua 6 d'amor piene. PETEABCII. 



FATHER, hear ! 

Thou know'st my secret thought ; 
Thou know'st, with love and fear, 

1 bend before Thy mighty throne, 
And before Thee I hold myself as 

nought. 
Alas ! I'm in the world alone, 

All desolate upon the earth ; 
And when my spirit hears the tone, 

The soft song of the birds in mirth, 
When the young nightingales 

Their tender voices blend, 
When from the flowery vales 

Their hymns of love ascend ; 
Oh ! then I feel there is a void for me, 

A bliss too little in this world so fair; 
To Thee, Father, do I flee, 

To Thee for solace breathe the prayer. 
And when the rosy morn 

Smiles on the dewy trees, 
When music's voice is borne 

Far on the gentle breeze ; 
When o'er the bowers I stray, 

The fairest fruits to bring, 
And on Thy shrine to lay 

A fervent offering ; 
Father of many spheres ! 

When bending thus before Thy 

throne, 
My spirit weeps with silent tears, 

To think that I must pray alone ! 
And when at evening's twilight dim, 

When peaceful slumber shuts mine 

eve > 

And when the gentle seraphim 
Bend from their bright homes in the 
sky: 



When angels walk the quiet earth, 
To glory in creation's birth ; 
Then, Father, in my dreams I see 

A gentle being o'er me bent, 
Radiant with love, and like to me, 

But of a softer lineament : 
I strive to clasp her to my heart, 

That we may live and be but one 
Ah, wherefore, lovely beam, depart, 

Why must I wake and find thee 

gone? 

Almighty, in Thy wisdom high, 
Thou saidst, that when I sin I die : 
And once my spirit could not see 
How that wnicn is could cease to be ; 
Death was a vague unfathom'd thing, 

On which the thought forbore to dwell, 
But love has oped its secret spring, 

And now I know it well ! 
To die, must be to live alone, 
Unloved, uncherish'd, and unknown, 
Without the sweet one of my dreams 

To cull the fragrant flowers with me, 
To wander by the morning's beams, 

And raise the hymn of thanks to 

Thee. 
But, Father of the earth, 

Lord of this boundless sphere, 
If 'tis Thy high unchanging will 

That I should linger here ; 
If 'tis Thy will that I should rove 

Alone, o'er Eden's smiling bowers, 
Grant that the young birds' song of love, 

And the breeze sporting ; mong the 

flowers, 

May to my spirit cease to be 
A music and a mystery ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Grant that my soul no more may feel 
The soft sounds breathing every- 
where ; 
That Nature's voice may cease to hymn 

Love's universal prayer : 
For all around, on earth or sea, 
And the blue heaven's immensity, 
Whisper it forth in many a tone, 
And tell me I am all alone ! 



PART II. 

THE DREAM OP THE SHIPWRECKED 
MARINER. 

THE sea was calm, the winds were fair, 
Lightly o'er the deep we pass'd, 

We thought no more of toil and pain, 
For we drew near home at last ; 

The very sails made music sweet 
As they flapp'd against the mast. 

The fair-faced moon look'd softly down, 
Tinging the small waves with her 
light; 

Many a heart beat anxiously, 
Many an eye look'd bright, 

To catch a glimpse of Albion's shore, 
That gleam'd in the distance white. 

I leant upon the vessel's side, 

And thoughts came crowding o'er my 

soul, 
As the welcome wind and tide 

Drove to the wish'd-f or goal ; 
And thou, loved one of my youth ! 
Remember'd still thy plighted truth. 
In fancy's dream I saw thee stand, 
All lonely, on the ocean strand, 
Straining thy bright eyes o'er the sea, 
To catch a glimpse of love and me. 
I clasp'd thee to my constant heart, 
And swore we never more would part, 
When suddenly a shriek 

Rose piercing o'er the wave ! 
We'd struck upon a hidden rock 

The vessel reel'd the grave, 
The billowy grave, with greedy clasp, 
Drew us down deep and then the gasp 



Of death, pass'd quick o'er many a lip ; 

Many a gallant soul departed, 
And the wind began to sob and sigh, 

Like a weak man broken-hearted. 

I sank into the deep abyss ; 

But with a desperate strife, 
I buffeted the roaring waves, 

And fought with them for life. 
'Twas but a minute ; o'er my soul 
A leaden lethargy there stole, 

And o'er my frame a sleep ; 
But ah ! not dreamless, for my brain 
Conjured a vision full of pain, 

Most palpable, most deep. 

****** 
Methought the fierce illimitable sea 

Had swallow'd up the land. 
Methought, with one wide sweep, 

Led by Jehovah's hand, 
This second deluge had come on, 
And in its pitiless f ury hurl'd 
Ravage and ruin o'er the world. 

Methought that ^Etna's fires were 
drench'd 

By the devouring sea ; 
That Chimboraco's mightier peak 

Was quench'd eternally ; 
And that / with an angel's Avings 

Flew onwards still, and found no rest; 
Nought met mine eye, 
But the grey-colour 5 d sky, 

And the wide ocean's dread, eternal 
breast. 

Silence was over all, 

Except when rose the blast, 
Fitfully rushing o'er the sea ; 
And I claim'd kindred with it, as it 



Because it mourned like me 
O'er the departed Earth, 

And wept that in its course it saw no 

life 
And heard no voice of mirth, 

No sound of human passion or of strife. 

I was alone all else had fled 
In the vast world I was alone: 

Earth's children were all dead 
And buried with their mother in the 
deep, 

Which had claim'd all things for its own, 
And left but me to weep. 



10 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



And yet amid this deep distress, 
This utter, utter weariness, 
But one desire was in my heart, 

One feeling o'er my soul imprest, 
One thought all other thoughts above, 
And that was the desire of love 

Burning for ever in my breast. 

How could I love ? With weary ken 
I turn'd my gaze across the sea ; 

But perish'd was the race of men, 
There was no living thing but me, 
Not even a blossom or a tree. 

Sadly I look'd upon the flood 
And sadly on the sombre sky ; 

And, in the bitterness of grief, 
I pray'd to the Most High : 

* Father of this dreary world, 

Father of all that is or were, 

Parent of many spheres, to Thee 

I raise the humble prayer. 
Last of my race a lonely man 
Nought breathes the breath of life 

but me ; 

The fair, the beautiful green land 
Has found a grave beneath the 

sea, 

And there is none to worship Thee. 
Sunk, sunk for ever is the populous 

earth ; 

And from the desolate sea there is no 
birth; 



May mount with mine above, 
On whom this bursting heart 

May pour o'erflowing love. 
What'have I done, that 'tis my doom 
To wander over Nature's tomb ? 
That I should only live to mourn 
A world that never can return ? 
But sweet would be the task to weep, 
Even on this wide, this endless deep, 
If there were one to share my woe, 

Some gentle one to sigh with me, 



Some heart whose tears with mine 

might flow : 
Then 'twould be sweet to worship 

Thee ! 

But as it is better to die 
Than live alone in this immensity.' 



The restless waves had ceased to moan, 

The storm had ceased to blow, 
And the loud winds, in milder tone, 

Began to murmur low, 
And pleasant sounds came o'er the deep, 

And floated on the air, 
And raised me from the dark abyss 

Of sorrow and despair. 

With lighter heart I look'd again 

O'er ocean's boundless scope, 
Then turn'd my glance upon the sky 

In gladness and in hope. 
The dismal clouds had roll'd away, 

The sky was clear and blue, 
And, oh ! to glad my longing eyes, 

One star was t>eering through. 

lovely star ! welcome ray ! 
It was a beauteous sight, 

Alone upon the waters wide, 

To gaze upon its light. 
For hours I look'd, until it seem'd 

To change upon my view ; 
While soft sweet sounds came from the 
sky, 

And from the waters blue. 
And then I saw two radiant eyes 

Bent tenderly on mine ; 
While to a face the bright star changed 

Beloved, it was thine ! 

1 woke upon the beach I lay, 

And thou, my beautiful, mine own, 
Wert bending o'er mv pallid cheek, 

Beside the waters lone, 
And smiling 'mid thy tears, to see 

That all had not been vain 
To call my dreaming spirit back 

To consciousness again. 



SACKED MELODIES. 



'AND GOD SAID, LET THERE 
BE LIGHT !' 

EARTH heard the loud, the solemn sound, 
And started from her utmost bound ; 
And Darkness, on his ebon car, 
Spread his black wings, and fled afar ; 
The dun clouds open'd at the sight, 
And hail'd the burst of life and light ! 

* 'Tis light ! 'tis light ! ' the mountains 

rung, 

* ; Tis light ! 'tis light ! ' the valleys sung ! 
The stars beheld its dawning bright, 
The spheres confess'd the Godhead's 

might, 

While Nature's universal voice 
Proclaimed aloud, * Rejoice ! rejoice I' 



ii. 
WEEPING FOR THE DEAD. 

OH ! why should we bewail the dead, 
Why sorrow o'er their narrow bed ? 
Have they not sought the happy shore, 
Where human cares oppress no more ? 
Bewail them not ! more blest than we, 
From mortal woes and anguish free, 
Then' parted spirits rest in peace 
In the still land where troubles cease ! 

Bewail them not ! then* bright abode 
Is with a Father and a God : 
Freed from Corruption's cold embrace, 
They see th' Almighty face to face. 
No sorrows move the faithful dead, 
No woes disturb their narrow bed; 
In the still land, where troubles cease, 
Their parted spirits rest in peace. 



in. 



THE DOVE OF NOAH; 

HOPE on her wings, and God her guide, 
The dove of Noah soa^d, 



Far through the dim unfathom'd space, 
Where shoreless ocean roarYl. 

But, ah ! she found no valley green, 
No resting-place, no track, 

Until the peaceful ark received 
The weary wanderer back. 

So we, on Life's tempestuous sea, 

Beset by grief and pain, 
May seek a solace here below, 

But ah ! the search is vain. 
A resting-place for weary man 

Is only found above ; 
The ark to which the soul returns 

Is the Almighty's love. 



IV. 

REPENTANCE. 

BY the red lightning rent and riven, 

And etretch'd along the plain, 
Can the tall oak extend to heaven 

Its gay green boughs again ? 
Or when a star hath lost its track, 

And faded from on high, 
Can aught restore the lost one back 

To glory and the sky 1 
No ; the tall oak no more can spread 

Its green leaves to the blast, 
Nor can the meteor which hath fled, 

Recall its splendours past. 

Can man, deep sunk in guilty care, 

And press'd by human ill, 
Gain triumph o'er his dark despair, 

And find a solace still ? 
Yes ! He who for our ransom bled, 

Holds back th' avenging rod, 
When meek Contrition bows her head, 

Repenting, to her God. 
Though dark the sin though deep the 
heart 

Be sunk in guilt and pain, 
Heaven's Mercy can a balm impart, 

And lift it up again ! 



12 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



v. 
SAUL AND DAVID. 

A VOICE of wailing and of grief 

Fills the proud monarch's regal hall, 
There's madness on the kingly brow, 

There's frenzy in the soul of Saul. 
Where is the bard whose soothing song 

Can solace to the mind impart { 
Whose lips can utter words of peace, 

And drive the demon from the heart ? 

He comes, the shepherd-minstrel comes, 
His hallo w ; d fingers sweep the Ivre ; 

He comes, he comes, the holy bard, 
All radiant with prophetic fire. 

And thus, preluding on the strings, 

A bold ancf joyous song he sings : 

' Fill, fill the bowl with rosy wine, 

To cheer the bosom of the king, 
Deep in the goblet let it shine, 

And wreathe it round with flowers of 
spring; 

The morn of life is on the wing, 
The time that flies returns no more : 

J oy hath its grief love h ath its sting 
But wine rejoices to the core/ 

The minstrel ceased the monarch 
smiled, 

But still the song was vain, 
It could not calm the frenzy wild 

That burn'd within his brain. 
He raves ! he raves ! minstrel mild ! 

Re-time thy lyre again. 

'Where shall the gloom that prompts 

the sigh 

Find light, if not in Beauty's eye ? 
Where shall the aching forehead rest, 
If not upon her snowy breast ? 
Love is the solace and relief, 

Love is the balm for care and grief.' 
The monarch scarcely heard the lay, 

Delicious though it were, 
And as its murmurs died away, 

His eyes began to glare. 
minstrel ! still thy song is vain ; 

Perchance some sadder air 



May drive the fury from his brain. 
Hark ! how the numbers fall, he strikes 
the lyre again ! 

' The Lord is good, the Lord is great ! 

Long doth His loving-kindness last ; 
The heart that hath for pardon sued, 

Ne'er weeps in vain its errors past. 
'Tis He can heal the suffering soul, 

'Tis He can cheer in sorrow's day.' 

The monarch listen'd, smiled, and wept 
The evil spirit pass'd away. 



VI. 

GOD IN THE STORM. 

A TEMPEST rent the starry dome, 
And tortured ocean into foam. 
Bending to earth my humbled head, 
In solemn and religious dread, 

And kneeling on the sod, 
I heard a voice proclaim aloud, 
Whose echoes sprang from cloud to cloud, 

' Great is the Lord our God ! ' 

And ocean swell'd its waters vast* 

Repeating, as it roar'd 
In chorus with the furious blast, 

1 ph, mighty is the Lord ! ' 
While the fierce lightning, flashing high,* 
Traced the dread accents on the sky, 
Writing, as with a fiery rod, 
' Oh, mighty is the Lord our God ! ' 



VII. 

THE INFINITUDE OF MERCY. 

SAY not that any crime of man 

Was e'er too great to be forgiven ; 
Can we within our little span 

Eugrasp the stormy winds of heaven ? 
Shall we attempt with puny force 

To lash back ocean with a rod, ' 
Arrest the planets in their course, 

Or weigh the mercies of our God ? 



JUVENILE POEMS. 13 

THE ABOLITION BY GREAT BRITAIN OF SLAVERY IN HER 
COLONIAL POSSESSIONS. 

GRAND and auspicious was that happy time 
When Britain rose, majestic and sublime ; 
Arm'd with the strength that only arms the just, 
The light of Truth flash'd from her eyes august ; 
Wide o'er the earth her mighty hands she spread, 
While rays of glory beam'd about her head 
The listless nations started and awoke, 
As with loud voice the cheering words she spoke : 
* No more/ she cried, * no more, thou teeming earth, 
For me or mine, shalt thou to slaves give birth ; 
No more for me shall helots till the soil 
Stripes their reward, and pain and hopeless toil ; 
No more shall slaves produce vile wealth for me 
Joy ! Afric, joy ! thy swarthy sons are free ! 
H ear, all ye nations ! hear the voice of truth, 
And wake to pity and redeeming ruth ; 
The wealth is cursed that springs from human woe, 
And he who trades in men is Britain's foe : 
Freedom, God's gift, was kindly meant for all 
Poor suffering slaves ! this hour your fetters fall ! ' 
Earth, as she heard the loud majestic voice, 
Shouted reply, and bade her sons rejoice : 
The wise and good of every clime and caste 
Hail'd a fair future, fairer than the past, 
And pictured fondly, in the coming time, 
Less blood and tears, less misery and crime. 
Great was the boon, and pledge of thousands more 
Herald of peace and days of bliss in store ! 



FALSE HERO-WORSHIP. 

' ALAS for men ! that they should be so blind, 
And laud as gods these scourges of their kind ! 
Call each man glorious who has led a host, 
And him most glorious who has murder'd most ! 
Alas ! that men should lavish upon these 
The most obsequious homage of their knees 
The most obstreperous flattery of their tongue 
That these alone should be by poets sung 
That good men's names should to oblivion fall, 
But those of heroes fill the mouths of all 
That those who labour in the arts of peace, 
Making the nations prosper and increase, 
Should fill a nameless and unhonour'd grave, 
Their worth forgotten by the crowds they save 
But that the leaders who despoil the earth, 
Fill it with tears, and quench its children's mirth, 



14 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Should with their statues block the public way, 
And stand adored as demi-gods for aye ! 
False greatness ! where the pedestal for one, 
Is on the heads of multitudes undone. 
False admiration J given, not understood ; 
False glory ! only to be gain'd by blood ! 

From ' The Hope of the World: 



A REVERIE IN THE STORM. 

WIND of the winter night, whence comest thou ? 
And whither, oh ! whither, art wandering now ? 
Sad, sad is thy voice on this desolate moor, 
And mournful, most mournful, thy howl at my door. 
Say, where hast thou been on thy cloud-lifted car, 
Say, what hast thou seen in thy roamings afar, 
What sorrow impels thee, thou boisterous blast, 
Thus to mourn and complain as thou journeyest past ? 
Dost weep that the green sunny summer hath fled, 
That the leaves of the forest are wither'd and dead, 
That the groves and the woodlands re-echo no more 
The light-hearted music they teem'd with of yore ? 
That the song of the lark and the hum of the bee 
Have ceased for awhile on the snow-cover'd lea ? 
Say, wind of the winter-night, whence comest thou, 
And whither, oh ! whither, art wandering now ? 

' I have come from the deep, where the storm in its wrath 
Spread havoc and death on its pitiless path, 
W here the billows rose up as the lightnings flew by 
And twisted their arms in the dun-colour^ sky : 
And I saw a frail vessel, all torn by the wave, 
Drawn down with her crerw to a fathomless grave, 
. And I heard the loud creak of her hull as I past, 
And the flap of her sails and the crash of her mast ; 
And I raised my slirill voice on the cold midnight air, 
To drown the last cry of the sailor's despair. 
'Tis his requiem I tune as I howl through the sky, 
And repent of the fury that caused him to die. 

' And far have I roam'd on the desolate shore, 
And the cold dreary wastes of the tenantless moor, 
Where a hoary old man journey'd on through the plain, 
To his bright-blazing hearth and liis children again ; 
And I sigh'd as I rush'd o'er that desert of snow, 
For I saw not the path where the traveller should go : 
For a moment he paused in that wilderness drear, 
And clasp'd his cold hands as he listen'd to hear 
The bark of his dog from his cot in the dell, 
Or the long-wish'd for toll of the far village bell. 
Poor weary old man ! he was feeble and chill, 
And the sounds that he loved were all silent and still, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



15 



For vainly he turn'd his dim glance to the sky, 
And vainly he sought with his tremulous eye 
Some light in the distance, whose pale beaming ray 
Might guide him aright on his comfortless way : 
Till, fainting and chill, he turn'd wearily back, 
And tried to recover the snow-hidden track. 
Ah ! vainly he strove, and no sound could he hear, 
To tell his sad heart that a refuge was near, 
When, worn by the load of his toil and his woe, 
He muttered a prayer, and sank down on the snow ; 
And I heard the last gasp of his quick-fleeting breath, 
His last dying groan, as he struggled with death : 
And I mourn for him now on this desolate moor, 
And tune his sad dirge as I howl at thy door. 

' I have been where the snow on the chill mountain peak 
Would have frozen the blood in the ruddiest cheek, 
And for many a dismal and desolate day, 
No beam of the sunshine has brighten'd my way ; 
But I weep not that winter hath bared the green tree, 
And hush'd the sweet voice of the bird and the bee ; 
I sigh not that Summer hath fled from the plain, 
For the Spring will return in its brightness again ; 
But I mourn and complain for the wail and the woe 
That I've seen on my course as I journeyed below ; 
For I've heard the loud shout of the Demon of War, 
And the peal of his guns as they flash'd from afar, 
And heard the lone widows and orphans complain, 
As they wet with their tears the pale cheeks of the slain ; 
And I sigh as I think on the miseries of man, 
And the crimes and the f ollies that measure his span.' 



THE SEA-SHORE. 

COME, gentle phantasie, 

Come to my lone retreat, 
Beside the rolling sea, 

Where the playful billows beat : . 
Come at still twilight's time, 
When the star of evening beams above, 
And looks on earth with a look of love, 
From her far cerulean chine ; 
And on the shore 
The waters' roar 

Shall to our ears rough music make, 
And sweet shall be 
Their melody, 

As the wind doth o'er them break. 
Now fades the daylight o'er the deep, 
And now the struggle and the strife, 
The cares and toils of busy life, 
Sink for awhile in sleep : 



And she, Thought's pallid queen, 
Arises on her gentle way, 
Scattering far her tremulous ray 

With calm and holy sheen. 

Now is the hour when Feeling wakes, 

Now is the hour when Fancy takes 
Her far and heavenward flight ; 

Now every evil passion dies, 

Now Hope lifts up her gentle eyes 
lovely hour of night ! 

I gaze upon the roaring sea, 
And vague deep thoughts crowd o'er my 
mind. 

There lies the dread immensity, 
And o'er the region of the wind 

Lies an immensity more dread, 
On which the thought can not re- 



Whose secrets we can not disclose 
! happy, happy dead ! 



16 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Perchance to you your God has given 
To know the secrets of the heaven, 
On angels' wings afar to fly, 
And scan the wonders of the sky ; 
And often, 'mid the darkness dim, 

The soul forgets its feeble shell, _ 
As if 'twould pierce the ways of Him 

Whose ways no human heart can tell. 
The soul expands, as if to see 
If it can grasp Eternity, 
And pass the bounds of time and space 
But, ah ! there is no resting-place 

For such adventurous flight. 
These are the aspirings of the spirit 
To the home it shall inherit ; 
A dim, faint dream, 
A feeble gleam 

Of what the soul may be when pass'd 
this earthly night. 



THE WOOD-NYMPH. 

' Muse des bois et des accords champGtres.' 

FAR from bustle, strife, and care, 

'Mong the woods I've woo'd her, 
And to her secluded nook, 
By the margin of a brook, 
And by waters bright and blue, 
Over meadows wet with dew, 

Many a time pursued her : 
And far away in forests lone, 
Listening to the plaintive tone 

Of the windy weather, 
She and I, at midnight's time, 

Have sat and sung together. 
Poor she is in things of earth, 

Poor in worldly treasure, 
But she hath a smile of light, 
And an eye of hazel bright, 

Beaming love and pleasure. 
A forest maid, she loves to dwell 
In her solitary cell, 
Nursing, in her still retreat, 
All the passions mild and sweet ; 
And breathing many a plaintive ditty 
Of Hope, and Joy, and Love, and Pity. 
She is a fair and woodland nymph, 

A wild and artless mountain beauty 
Whose witching tongue, 
Doth lure the young 

From lucre and hard duty. 
This nymph so poor, and yet so free, 
Who can she be but POESY ? 



TO AN EAGLE. 

FOB thy cleaving wings, 

To brave the ragged blast, 
In spite of wind and storm to soar 

O'er mount and meadow vast ! 
that I might, like thee, 

O'er Alpine summits fly, 
And travel, unconfined and free 

The nearest to the sky ! 

that mine eye, like thine, 

Upon the sun might gaze, 
And revel in that living light, 

Undazzled by the blaze ! 
that my rapid flight 

O'er boundless ether driven, 
Might never leave, for things of earth, 

The brighter ones of heaven ! 

Here, when the soul inspired 

Would leave the world beliind, 
Forgetting its affinity 

To sorrow and mankind, 
With eye like thine, to scan 

The wonders of its birth, 
Some petty care disturbs its flight, 

And draws it back to earth. 

for thy cleaving wings ! 

for thy toppling nest ! 
To dwell upon tne mountain tops, 

With Nature for my guest : 
Fann'd by the rushing wind, 

Rejoicing in the blast, 
And soaring in the light of mom 

O'er woods and waters vast ! 



NIGHT AND SILENCE. 

Night and Darkness, ye are wondrous 
strong. BYKON. 

; Tis sweet to roam alone 
In some sequester'd wood. 
When slumbering Echo hears no 

sound, 
When Night and Silence spread 

around 

A holy solitude ; 
When through the vales, 
Capricious gales 
Sweep fitfully along in melancholy mood. 

Oh ! hi that solemn hour, 
When starry Night has flung 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



17 



Her balmy mantle o'er the dale, 
And when the love-lorn nightingale 
Her last complaint has sung ; 
When all is still, 
O'er grove and hill , 

Oh ! then the Spirit wakes, and Silence 
has a tongue ! 

Silence, on dusky wing, 
Recalls the dim years lied. 
Before the pensive spirit, move 
Visions of friendship and of love, 
Thoughts of the peaceful dead, 
Who, though they sleep 
In darkness deep. 
Lie not forgotten in their quiet bed. 

Silence awakens Hope, 
Crown'd with consoling light, 
Who wipes away the tear of woe, 
That Memory might have caused to 

flow, 

And gladdens Sorrow's night ; 
Like a gay dream, 
Her cheering beam 

Dispels the gathering mist, and all again 
is bright. 

Silence is eloquent 
In converse with the mind ; 
Beneath your beam, ye silent stars, 
Fancy forgets life's petty jars, 
And leaves dull earth behind ; 
With daring eye 
It soars on high, 

Flies o'er the boundless heaven and 
treads the stormy wind. 



THE LARK. 

[Written at the age of thirteen.] 

WHITHER, sweet lark ! whither away, 
Soaring so high in the dawning gray ? 
I see thee not, but I hear thy voice, 
Singing aloud, * Rejoice ! rejoice ! ' 

As long as the fields and the woods are 

green, 

The breezes soft, and the sky serene, 
Happy art thou, bird of morn ! 
Greeting the beam o'er the far hills 

borne. 



for a wing and a voice like thine, 
To revel and sing in the morning shine ! 

for a spirit untouch'd by care, 

A soul unworn by the world's despair ! 

Floating aloft on thy russet wing, 
Pleasant to thee are the clays of spring ; 
Thou hast no sorrow to make thee moan, 
For sorrow is man's, and man's alone ! 

Whither, sweet lark ! whither away, 
Soaring so high in the dawning gray f 

1 see thee not, but I hear thy voice, 
Singing aloud, * Rejoice ! rejoice ! ' 



THE AUTUMN LEAF, 

Pauvre fetiille dessechee ! oil vas-tu ? 

ARNAULT. 

POOR autumn leaf ! down floating 
Upon the blustering gale; 

Torn from thy bough, 

Where goest now, 
Wither'd, and shrunk, and pale ? 

' I go, thou sad inquirer, 
As list the winds to blow, 

Sear, sapless, lost, 

And tempest-tost, 
I go where all things go. 

4 The rude winds bear me onward 

As suiteth them, not me, 
O'er dale, o'er hill, 
Through good, through ill, 

As Destiny bears thee. 

1 What though for me one summer, 
And threescore for thy breath 

I live my span, 

Thou thine, poor man ! 
And then adown to death ! 

* And thus we go together, 
For lofty as thy lot 
And lowly mine, 
My fate is thine, 
To die, and be forgot ! ' 



TO ROMANCE. 

SWEET deceiver ! who so oft 
[last lull'd my soul with visions soft ; 
When the heart is new and young, 
Thou dost come with flattering tongue, 



18 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Whispering to confiding youth 
Tales of Friendship, Love, and Truth : 
In thy mirror, life is seen 
Bright and pure, and ever green ! 
Alas ! and must thy visions fade 1 
Thy brightness darken into shade 1 
The clear, but cold reality 
Breathes upon thy reverie 
Straight thy fairy visions fly, 
Their gorgeous lines grow pale and die ; 
We find that in Misfortune's day 
Friendship can wither or betray ; 
We find that paltry gold can buy 
The glance of love in Beauty's eye ; 
That sordid wealth can cover crime, 
That merit stoops while blockheads 

climb ! 

Romance ! thy fairy spell is o'er, : . 
Thy lovely visions charm no more ; 
Too often by. thy wiles betrayed, 
I'll woo no more thy gentle aid; 
Yet why ? ; Tis pleasing to believe 
Thy dreams are sweet, though they 

deceive. 



THE INDIAN'S WAR SONG. 

[Written after reading Cooper's 'Last of the 
Mohicans.'] 

I SAW a stain on the last year's snow, 

Brothers ! a stain of blood ! 
But the cold hath pass'd, and the warm 

winds blow. 

And the trees are in the bud. 
The snow hath melted from dale and 

hill- 
But the blood ! the blood remaineth 
still ! 

I heard a voice on the winter blast, 

Brothers ! a voice of woe ! 
And it cried for vengeance as it past 

O'er the cold, blood-crimson snow. 
That wind hath sunk over wood and hill, 
But the voice ! the voice I hear it 
still! 

I saw a spirit in my sleep ; 

Brothers ! its hand was red ! 
Its eye was fierce and its scowl was deep, 

And it cried, ' Revenge the dead ! ' 
Shall we not hear what the spirit saith ? 
Onwards, my brothers ! Revenge, or 
Death ! 



THIRTEEN AT TABLE ; 

A VISION OP DEATH. 
IMITATED FROM BEKANQEB. 

BEFORE my plate the salt was overset, 
And tliiiteen guests around my table met. 
* Alas ! ' I cried, and gazed around the room, 
' Omens of sorrow warnings of the tomb ! ' 
Scarce had I said, when to my wond'ring sight, 
Appealed a spirit beautif nl and bright 
Clieer up, my friends, be merry an of yore; 
I've look'd on Death, and fear far face M more. 

There was no terror in her eyes so sweet, 
A broken chain was lying at her feet, 
And round her brow she wore a chaplet rare, 
Twined 'mid the ringlets of her auburn hair ; 
And her white fingers pointed to her breast, 
Where slept an infant in unconscious rest. 
Fill, Jill the goblet till the wine runs o'er ^ 
I've looKd on Death, and fear her face no more* 



JUVENILE POEMS. 

Why/jsaid the spirit, 'why should mortals fear 
Their kindest friend, their best protector here 1 
Why should the weary and the slave complain ? 
I send one rest, andj^reak the other's chain ; 
And give weak man, ungrateful for my love, 
Immortal wings to waft his soul above ' 
HusKd be thy fears, maid whom I adore, 
Fve lootfd on Death, and fear her face no more. 

1 Thy soul, man ! imprisoned here below, 
Crawls in the mire, a prey to every woe ; 
But freed by me, on angel pinions borne, 
Shall visit worlds beyond the gates of mom, 
Shall soar to spheres where sorrow is unknown, 
And see the Godhead on his sapphire throne ! ' 
Friend/ give thy hand, be merry as of yore; 
I've look' a on Death, and fear her face no more. 

1 Then dread me not nor say I'm foe to man, 
And till I come be happy if you can ! ' 
The vision's fled ! fill, fill your bumpers high ! 
Let omens pass we're not afraid to die. 
Heaven is no foe to innocent delight, 
Death has no terror to the heart that's right. 
Friends and companions, let the wine run o'er 
Death is new Life we fear her face no more. 



THE MAID OF MORA, 

A LEGEND OF THE ROSIE-CR08S. 

1842. 



Listen, and I will tell you now, 
What never yet was heard in tale or song, 
From old or modem bard, in hall or bower. 

COMUS. 



INTRODUCTION. 



IN the Rosicracian romance of the Count de Galalis, or Conversations upon the 
Secret Sciences, by the Abbe de Villars, a volume to which the world is in- 
debted for the aerial personages of the Rape of the Lock, as well as for many 
graceful fancies in English and German literature, and especially the Undine or 
Water-spirit of the Baron de la Motte Fouque, occur the following passages : 

When you shall be enrolled among the children of the philosophers/ says 
the Count de Gabalis, * you will discover that the elements are inhabited by very 
holy creatures, whom, in consequence of the sin of unhappy Adam, his too un- 
happy posterity have been forbidden to see or know. The immense space that 
is between earth and heaven possesses inhabitants much more noble than the birds 
and guats merely ; the vast oceans have many more dwellers than the dolphins 
and the whales ; the depth of the earth is not created only for the moles ; and 
the element of lire, more noble than the other three, was not made to remain 
void. 

' The air is full of an innumerable multitude of creatures of the human form, 
great lovers of the sciences, subtle, benevolent to the wise, but enemies of the 
stupid and ignorant. Their wives and their daughters are of bold and masculine 
beauty, such as painters have represented the Amazons. 

4 Know also that the seas and the rivers are as fully inhabited as the air ; the 
wise ancients have mentioned these populations under the name of Undines or 
nymphs. There are few males among them, but vast numbers of females ; their 
beauty is extreme, and the daughters of men are not to be compared to them. 

4 The earth is filled nearly to the centre by Gnomes, people of small stature, 
guardians of the treasures of the mines and quarries. The latter are ingenious, 
friends of mankind, and easy to command. They furnish the children of the wise 
with all the money that they require, and ask little for their service, except the 
glory of being commanded. The Gnornides, their wives, are small, but very 
agreeable. 

' As regards the Salamanders, inhabitants of the region of fire, they serve the 
philosophers ; but they do not wish or seek their company with much eagerness ; 
and their daughters and then- wives rarely allow themselves to be seen. The 
wives of the Salamanders are beautiful, and in fact more beautiful than all the 
others, because they are of a purer element. I pass over the description of these 
people, because, when one of us, you will see them yourself at leisure, and easily 
if you have the curiosity. You will see their costumes, their modes of living, 
their manners ; their policy, their admirable laws. You will be charmed with the 
beauty of their minds, even more than with that of their bodies ; but you will 
not be able to refrain from pity when they tell you that their souls are mortal, 
and that they have no hope of the eternal enjoyment of divine felicity, in the 
presence of that supreme Being whom they know, and whom they religiously 
adore. They will tell you that being composed of the purest particles of the 
element which they inhabit, and having no contrary qualities in them, as they 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

are made of but one element, they do not die till after many centuries : but what 
is time compared to eternity ? They return at last into eternal nothingness; and 
this thought so afflicts them, that the philosophers have much trouble in con- 
soling them. 

* Our fathers being true philosophers, and speaking to God face to face, coin- 
plained to Him of the wretched fate of these people ; and God, whose mercy is 
illimitable, remembered Him that it was v not impossible to find a remedy for this 
evil. He made known to them that in the same manner as man, by the alliance 
which he has contracted with God, has been made a participator of the Divinity ; 
so the Sylphs, the Gnomes ? the Nymphs, and the Salamanders, by the alliance 
which they may contract with man, can be made participators of man's immor- 
tality. Thus a Nymph or a Sylphide becomes immortal, and capable of the bliss 
to which we aspire, when she is nappy enough to marry one of the " wise ; " and 
a Gnome or a Sylph ceases to be mortal from the moment that he marries one of 
the daughters of men. 5 

This quotation will suffice to show whence the author derived the idea of 
Amethysta, the Maid of Mora, which was first issued under the title of * The 
Salamandrine/ in the year 1842, and went through three editions up to 1853, 
when a fourth edition, with illustrations by Mr, now Sir John, Gilbert was pub- 
lished. In deference to an opinion expressed in many and very different quarters 
that the name of the Salamandrine Avas not commonly understood, and when 
understood that it suggested an idea of the horrible rather than the tender and 
pathetic, the author has changed the original title to that which it now bears, 
4 The Maid of Mora/ with the explanation that the title after all seemed of little 
consequence, in view of the fact that the word ' Salamandrine ' never once 
occurred in the poem itself, and might therefore be dropped, without the slightest 
injury to the sense or the structure of the poem. 



CANTO FIRST. 

THE WATCH-FIRE. 



Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould 
Breathe such divine, enchanting ravishment? Coitus. 

This, this is she alone, 
Sitting like a goddess bright 
In the centre of her light. MILTON'S ARCADES.' 



COLD and misty broke the morn 

Through clouds and vapours dun, 

When thrice ten thousand men advanced, 

Elate with battles won, 

To meet the foe in mortal strife 

Ere rising of the sun. 

ii. 

Short was the day, but ere its light 

Had faded from the west, 
Ten thousand men lay cold and dead 

On earth's enshrouding breast ; 
And the snow where passed those angry 
hosts. 

So virgin white before,. 

Was trodden black by prancing horse, 

Or dyed with human gore. 

in. 

And now 'tis night, and chill and bleak 

The wind goes moaning forth ; 

Cold, bitter cold, the stars shine out 

From the clear and frosty north ; 

And crisp and brittle to the tread 

Are the weary wastes of snow : 

Poor sad survivors of the fight ! 

How shall they pass this wintry night, 

And brave the blasts that blow ? 

IV. 

From hour to hour the sentries pace 
Their round, with blue, cold, shrunken 
face, 



And pray that-morn would come 

Before its customary time ; 
Or ere their tongues grow stiff and dumb, 

Or ere their very eyes congeal : 
For the sharp winds pierce into their 
flesh. 

Like javelins of steel. 

v. 

The forest-trees, at break of morn, 

Stood proudly every one ; 
The hoar-frost on their leafless boughs 

Shone brightly in the sun. 
Now here and there upon the earth 

Their trunks extended lie, 

To feed with logs the beacon-fires 

That pour their smoke on high ; 

And merrily they burn and crack, 

And flush tHe wintry sky. 

VI. 

The shivering remnant of the host 

Is gathered round about, 
Faint with the fighting of that day, 

Or wounded in the rout. 
Close to the fires they gather all, 

To warm their freezing feet, 
And rub their stiff and torpid palms 

In the reviving heat ; 

And ever and anon they raise, 

With joyous shouts, the smouldering 

blaze, 

To scare away the wolves that yell 
By the outposts of the sentinel, 



24 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



And the birds obscene that croak and jar, 
And snuff the carnage from afar. 

VII. 

And one fire, brighter than the rest, 

Is piled with chumps of oak, 

And weaves fantastic to the sky, 

Blue wreaths of curling smoke. 

Fivescore men are stretch'd around; 

So weary worn are they, 
They could not sleep a sounder sleep 

If on eider-down they lay, 

With sheets and blankets white as milk, 

And sheltering draperies of silk. 

VIII. 

Sir Gilbert, captain of the band, 

Lies slumbering with the rest, 

On the cold damp ground, 

With his mantle round, 

And his hands upon his breast. 

And he is young and fair and proud, 

And the name his fathers bore 

Was never stain'd by sire or son, 

Or any that came before. 

IX. 

He hath a vision in his sleep : 

His eyes seem closed in slumber deep, 

But through the smoke he sees the stars, 

And he can hear the flames that roar, 

As in mimic strife they meet and twist, 

Curl and uncurl, combine, resist, 

And glide and mingle as before. 

x. 

And in the fiercest of the heat 

He sees a youth and maiden sweet ; 

Unscorch'd amid the fire they stand, 

And hold each other by the hand: 

The harmless flames around them play, 

In hues of purple, gold, and gray ; 

They mount, they fall, they leap, they 

twine 

And then in showers, like scattered wine, 

Rose-red, the glancing sparks descend, 

As the bright pair toward him bend; 

While he looks on with lips asunder, 

Holding his breath in fear and wonder. 

XI 

Oh, richly fell the flaxen hair 
Over the maiden's shoulders fair ! 



On every feature of her face 

Sat radiant modesty and grace ; 

Her tender eyes were mild and bright, 

And tlirough her robes of shadowy white 

The delicate outline of her form 
Shone like an iris through a storm. 

XII. 

The other was of sterner mould : 

A frown of melancholy pride 

Made him less lovely to behold 

Than the maiden at his side ; 

But on his brow, beseeming well, 

Sat majesty ineffable : 
He look'd a demigod sublime, 
Or a Titan of the olden time. 

XIII. 

Sir Gilbert gazed upon the flames, 

But could not speak for fear : 
Was he awake ? was he asleep ? 

He saw the moon shine clear ; 
He saw the steadfast woods around, 
And his sleeping comrades near ; 
And still before his wondering sight 

The watch-fire mounted high, 

And form'd above their radiant heads 

A smokeless canopy. 

XIV. 

At their feet the embers glitterM fair, 
Like rich carbuncles with topaz set. 
Was he awake ? He doubted yet. 
Was it a murmuring in the air ? 
No : 'twas the maiden a voice he heard: 
He could distinguish every word ; 
Gentle and soft, like music's tone 
When the notes are saddest and best 
known. 

xv. 

' brother ! I could weep for ever 

For the sorrow that I see ! 

Poor suffering man ! 

How short his span ! 

And yet how full of misery! 

See how they struggle how they die 

How they deform the pleasant lands, 

And in their brothers' blood imbrue 

Their mercenary hands ! 
The crowds that slumber at our feet 

Await but morning, to repeat 

The guilt of yesterday, and wield 

The murderous sword in battle-field ; 



THE MAID OF MORA 



25 



Or, drunk with slaughter, light their 
torch 

At cottage-roof or city-porch ; 

And in one luckless notch of time 

Compress whole centuries of crime.' 

XVI. 

' Sweet Amethysta, vain thy grief ; 
And weep not thou for human woe : 

Have we not sorrows of our own, 

For which our bitterest tears should flow? 

A greater anguish who can know, 

A greater sum of agonies, 

Than to have a soul that dies ? 

Like the perishing body mortal, 

Ne'er to reach the glorious portal 

Leading to the awful Throne 

Where the Eternal sits alone ; 

With power and will to worship God, 

Yet to be smitten by His rod 

Into nothingness for ever ! 
Worse even than hell itself, and woe 
relenting never ! 

XVII. 

1 Weep not, sister, for mankind ! 

Although so Avicked, frail, and blind ; 

Although for colour or for creed 

Their daily hecatombs may bleed ; 

Although the elder and the younger 

Are born to sorrow, pain, and hunger, 

And countless miseries crowd their 

span, 
I would that Heaven had made me man ! 

XVIII. 

' thou Sun, that beamest high, 
Even thou shalt fade and die ; 
But these poor earthworms though 
they be 

Shall perish never, 

But flourish beautiful and bright, 

When thou and worlds that drink thy 

light 
Are quench'd for ever and for ever.' 

XIX. 

1 True, brother : what suffices 

Length of years or sum of joy, 

That no human care or anguish, 

Cold or hunger, can annoy, 

That for centuries of youth 

We can feed on heavenly truth ? 



We die ! we die ! 1 
Outcasts forlorn ! 
Better unborn ! 
We die, we die ! alas, alas, we die !' 

xx. 

Sir Gilbert rose upon his arm, 

And still the accents, sad and sweet, 

Fill'd the clear air ! < We die, we die ! ' 

His heart was throbbing he heard it beat. 

Was he awake? Ay, broad awake: 

He saw the fire still upward wreathing, 

He saw the glorious moon aloft, 

He heard his fellow-soldier breathing, 

He felt the cold blast on his cheek 

' Alas/ said he, 'my brain is weak ! ' 

And then he press'd it with his palm, 

And closed his weary eyes ; 

But still he heard the mournful strain 

Amid the silence rise : 

XXI. 

' What though a thousand years may be 

No more than half our span, 

And only threescore years and ten 

The time ordain'd for man, 

Yet he is happier far than we, 

Proud hen- of Immortality ! 

For we, alas ! 

Fade like the grass, 

Or the breath of summer, 

Or a tone of song, 

Or a taper's ray, 

Alas, more mortal ev'n than they ! 

With spring the grass is a fresh new 

comer 

The soft west wind returns ere long 
The flame, though it seem extinguish'd 

quite, 

May be restored to a living light ; 
The song, though it cease, may re- 
awaken, 

Re-attuned to a pleasant strain; 
But when we die, we die for ever! 
Never oh, never, to live again!' 



Once more Sir Gilbert started up, 
And roused his slumbering fellow : 
' Look, look ! ' quoth he, ' and tell me 
true, 

Amid those flames so yellow 

Dost thou not see a vision blight ? 

Dost thou not hear a voice of sorrow ? ' 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



His comrade laughed,' Thy head is 

light, 
Go sleep thou wilt be well to-morrow.' 

XXIII. 

"Oh, shield me, Heaven ! but this is 

strange ! 

There are the two fair forms before me; 
I wake, I feel, I think, I speak, 
This is no vision floating o'er me ; 

Or if it be, no dream ideal 

Ever on earth was half so real. 

Hark ! the voices once again ! 

Oh, what melody of pain ! 
Oh, what music in their sorrow ! 
Perhaps my brain is light I may be 
well to-morrow/ 

XXIV. 

Thus communing with himself, 
He gazed upon that wondrous fire: 

Now it darkled, 

Roar'd, and sparkled 

Now it sank now mounted higher ; 

I And still the youth and maiden fair 

Shone amid the flames, unburning ; 

Still their voices, melancholy, 

Rose upon the midnight air, 

Ceasing now, and now returning, 

Soft, melodious, full, and clear; 

Till he held his panting breath 

In delight and fear. 

XXV. 

1 happy, happy man ! ' 

Thus the maiden sang, 

* At thy birth the heavens were glad, 

And hosannas rang. 
Make us sharers in thy gain, 

Oh, take pity on our pain ! 
And to our perishing souls impart 

The immortality of thine, 
For which through darkening years we 
ever yearn and pine.' 

XXVI. 

Sir Gilbert felt his inmost heart 

Warming with pity for their woe, 

* Most fair, most melancholy things, 

Tell me the sorrow that ye know. 

He spoke, in answer to his thought, 

But gave the words no breath : 

* What is it ye require of man, 



To be deliver'd from the ban 
Of this eternal death?' 

XXVII. 

There came an answer soft and low, 

As a breeze amid the grass ; 

It was the maiden's voice that sang 

Mournfully still ' Alas, alas ! 

We die, we die ! 

The flowerets of the plain, 

Imbibing colours from the sky, 

Are happier than we ; 
They live, and love, and feel no pain ; 

But joy is not for us and ours, 
We are more fragile than the flowers; j 
For us no blissjn earth, or heaven above, 1 
Unless, man ! thou'lt pity us, and j 
love ! ' 

XXVIII. 

And then the chorus rose again, 

But louder than before ; 
The forest-trees bow'd down their heads 

With age and winter hoar, 
And a murmur through their leafless 
boughs 

Most musically swept ; 
And the rough cold winds began to sing, 

And soft as breezes crept. 
The air, the sky, the very stars, 

The pale and waning moon, 
All seem d with full accord to join 

The one entrancing tune ; 
And the burden of it seem'd to be 

' Oh, love is chief felicity ! 

To man on earth to souls above 

Chief felicity is love !' 

XXIX. 

At last the echoes died away ; 

And when Sir Gilbert looked again, 

The flames had sunk, and clouds of smoke 

Were curling up amain : 
A streak of radiance in the east 

Proclaim'd the coming day, 

And drum and fife and bugle-horn 

Announced the reveille. 

XXX. 

1 Alas ! ' quoth he, what this may be 

Surpasses me to tell ; 

But this I say, to my dying day 

I shall remember well.' 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



27 



And now the drums beat loud again, 

And trumps heroic blow ; 

Each man of all that host is up, 

And marching o'er the snow, 



To meet, ere setting of the sun, 

The legions of the foe ; . 
To fight to bleed to groan to die 
And gather glory out of woe. 



CANTO SECOND. 



THE SOLDIER'S RETURN. 



Through the forest I have gone- 
Night and silence ! who is here, 
On the dank and dirty ground V MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. 



THE meadows gleam with early flowers, 

It is the mouth of May ; 
The swallow in the cottage eaves 

Has built her nest of clay, 

And the rooks upon the castle towers 

Caw merrily all the day. 

ii. 

The spring has follow'd the winter 

weary, 

And peace come after a ruthless war ; 
The land rejoices, and children's voices 

Welcome their fathers from afar. 
There are smiles of love on many a 

cheek ; 

Many a fond wife sobs for gladness, 
And sheds more tears in excess of joy 
Than ever she shed in all her sadness. 

in. 

The wars are over, the peasants re- 
joice, 

Youths and maidens sit under the tree, 

Or dance together 

In sunny weather, 

"While the elder people flock to see. 

The rustic pipe makes music simple, 

To guide the fall of their twirling feet ; 

And young veins tingle, 

As love-looks mingle, 

And youth and passion their vows repeat. 



IV. 

And Gilbert journeys to his home : 

Many a lam-el he hath won, 
And he hopes to reach his father's halls 

Ere the rising of the sun. 

The evening air is mild and cool, 

The round May-moon is at her full, 

And ever, as he rides along, 

He hums the chorus of a song ; 

Anon he walks his chestnut steed, 

Ambles, or gallops at full speed, 

And then he stops, for better view 

Of the green hills or waters blue, 

Or the broad path he must pursue. 

v. 

All day there was a gentle breeze- 
It shook no blossom from the trees, 

So lightly did it pass ; 
But now it blows a freshening gale : 
Hark ! how it murmurs in the grass, 
And moans among the oak-tree tops, 
And the loose willows of the copse : 

And lo ! upon the western sky 
The clouds are gathering fast and high. 

VI. 

And still the careless cavalier 

Goes loitering on his way ; 

One who hath borne the winter cold 

For a month, both night and day, 



28 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



Need fear no rage of vernal storm 
In the merry month of May : 
So leisurely he still rides on, 
And hums his roundelay. 



VII. 

The rain-drops patter on the leaves 

Of the topmost branches small ; 
The fragrance from the moisten'd grass 

Floats gently over all ; 
And the dust emits a perfume sweet 
Where the dancing rain-drops fall. 

vm. 

The moon is veil'd behind the cloud, 
The angry tempest shouts aloud, 
The rain pours down as if it burst 
From oceans floating in the air ; 
And on the forehead of the Dark 
The lightning waves its fiery hair ; 

And Heaven to Earth in thunder calls, 
And shakes her subterranean halls. 

IX. 

The charger snorts and pricks his ear: 

; Tis vain to speed, cavalier, 
There is no nlace of shelter near, 

Except tne forest glades ; 
And better the plain, with its drenching 

rain, 

Thau perilous green-wood shades : 
For the venomous lightning loves to 

launch 
Its bolts on the sheltering oak-tree 

branch ; 

So bear the storm as best you may, 
And keep your steed on the beaten way. 

x. 

Hark ! how the wind goes moaning 

past 

The rain comes flooding on the blast, 

The brooks and streamlets roar and leap, 

And way-side paths are ankle deep, 

And in the roads are pools to ford 

Up to the charger's girth ; 
And darkness deep and tempest strong 

Are lords of Air and Earth. 

Dark IIt is clearer than the day ; 

A sudden flash illumes the way ; 

And the war-horse, startled at the sight, 

Plunges and gallops in wild affright ! 



XI. 

Fear, though blind, is swift and strong : 

Over the dyke he bounds along, 
Over the ditch, and over the stile, 
And awav through the meadows many 
a mile ; 

No rider, were he ever so good, 

Could govern a steed in so wild a mood. 

And away they go, 

Faster than foe 

E'er fled from a host pursuing : 
And the mad wind snaps the stubborn 

trees, 

Their path with clouds of flying leaves 
And broken branches strewing. 
Till at last, all white with foam, 

And worn by speed and fear, 

The war-horse stumbles on the earth 

With its luckless cavalier. 

xn. 

It rose unhurt lopk'd wildly round, 
And was off again with a sudden bound; 

Tossing about on the wide wet plain 
Like a rudderless ship on the stormy 

main : 

And the rider lay on the earth alone, 

Under a bank of furze and stone. 

Was he alive ? 'twere hard to tell ; 

But if he were, he slumber'd well , 

To sorrow and pain insensible. 

XIII. 

There came a lady through the wood; 

Beautiful and kind was she: 

Loosely fell her flaxen hair, 

Over her shoulders clustering fair, 

Her azure eyes were mild and bright, 

Her rustling robes were silvery white, 

Her foot-fall delicate and light ; 

And an angel midit have stoop'd to see, 

And bless'd ner for her purity. 

XIV. 

The rain that on her ringlets fell 

Roll'd oft' like drops of dew, 
And the loud wind sank upon the 

bank, 

As she, with soft and modest eyes, 

Kindling with pity and surprise, 

Towards the horseman drew. 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



29 



She knelt beside him on the ground, 
And put her hand upon his heart ; 
She felt his breath upon her cheek, 
And then arose with sudden start, 
And parted from her throbbing brow 

The flowing locks that o'er it fell, 
And gazed upon his pallid face, as if she 
knew it well. 

xvi. 

How long he lay, he never could say ; 
But he saw the moonlight, silvery gray, 

Tinting the hill-tops far away, 

As the gentle lady o'er him bent, 

Most beautiful and innocent. 

XVII. 

'Do I behold the heavenly spheres ? ' 

With low and fainting voice said he ; 

* Is this the place of blessed rest ] 

Is this an angel that I see, 

Bending so brightly over me ? ' 

And as his words hi murmurs died, 

The pitying maid responsive sigh'd. 

XVIII. 

A little brooklet, wondrous clear, 

Came trickling down the bank ; 

She made her hands a drinking cup, 

And twice with water fill'd them up, 

And twice Sir Gilbert drank : 

And a grateful man was he, and press'd 

Her timid fingers to his breast. 

XIX. 

He thought he knew that beauteous 

face- 
That kindling smile that form of grace. 
But could not think where they had 

met ; 

Yet who, once seeing, could forget ? 

Alas ! his thoughts were roving yet ! 

But this he knew, 'twas bliss to be 

At the side of one so fair as she. 

xx. 

He look'd his thanks, but could not 

speak : 
He rose, but he was faint and weak. 

' Rest on my arm/ the lady said ; 
'Hush'd is the blast, the storm has 
pass'd, 



The rain has ceased, the sky is clear. 
My brother and I are dwellers here ; 

He is a hunter of the deer ; 

Our little cot is through the Avood, 

And thou shalt share our humble food 

And sheltering roof till dawn of day ; 

I'll be thy guide, and lead the way.' 

XXI. 

He lean'd upon her gentle arm, 
Through fresh, rain-dripping forest 
glades ; 

He, fairest youth in all the land, 

And she, most beautiful of maids. 

Emerging from the darkening shades, 

She led the way through beechen bowers, 

By many a green sequester'd nook, 

And over meadows gemm'd with flowers, 

Down to the margin of a brook, 

And up a narrow bridle road, 

To the lone cot where she abode. 

XXII. 

It stood upon the mountain side, 

Its porch with honeysuckle shaded ; 

Its windows screened from summer suns 

By clustering ivy, bird-invaded ; 

Embower'd 'mid odorous apple-trees, 

Acacias rich, and beech and holly, 

With willows scatter'd here and there, 

Trailing their boughs for melancholy. 

XXIII. 

Her brother gave them welcome fair, 

With courteous speech and tender care, 

And bade him stay, their home to share, 

Until his strength was quite restored : 

And then he trimm'd his evening lamp, 

And placed their supper on the board ; 

Sweet oaten cakes, and flesh of deer, 

And fruits, the earliest of the year : 

The wine the smiling maiden pour'd ; 

And oft they press d their wondering 

guest, 

And smooth'd a couch where he might 
rest. 

xxiv. 

Ah, Gilbert ! when the morning dawn'd 

Thou wert a love-entangled boy ; 

One glance of Amethysta's eyes 

Shot through thy heart delirious joy. 

Little of thine ancient halls, 

Little of thy father's care, 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



Little of thy mother's love, 

Little of thy sisters fair, 

Little of thy bride betroth'd, 

Waiting for thee all day long, 

Didst thou heed when she was near : 

Her smile was rapture to thy soul, 

Her voice was music to thine ear. 

xxv. 

Short is long time to loving hearts, 

And so he linger'd many a day ; 

And still with hospitable thought 

The brother urged his guest to stay, 

To roam at morn each woodland scene, 

Or hunt the deer in forests green ; 

And still the maid so gently smiled, 

That not beguiling, she beguiled, 

And join'd, though silent, in the prayer, 

That he another night would share 

Their humble roof and simple fare. 

XXVI. 

But Gilbert was no hunter bom, 

He took no ioy in hound or horn ; 

And no delight had he to cliinb 

The rugged peak or crag sublime, 

To chase the deer or mountain roe : 

Far more congenial to his mind, 
When stars shone clear and winds blew 
low, 



To wander with a maiden sweet, 
And breathe love-raptures at her feet. 

XXVII. 

So Porphyr hunted by himself, 

And left the maid to Gilbert's care ; 

Ah, well their hearts employ'd the time ! 

He passionate, and she most fair. 

Love was his theme from morn to night, 

And what he spoke 'twas joy to hear ; 

And many a vow they interchanged 

That they would hold each other dear ; 

And he was warm, and she sincere, 

And both were happy all day long, 

From morning tide till even song : 

And nightly love was still the theme 

Of many a wish and many a dream. 

XXVIII. 

Alas for youth, alas for truth, 

That Time lus course will never stay ! 

And that his touch, however light, 

Is always sure to brush away 
Some pleasure, that can never more 

Return as freshly as before ! 

Even now, amid excess of gladness, 

She feels a dread she scarce knows 

why 

That joy must be obscured by sadness, 
And pleasure blossom but to die. 



CANTO THIRD. 



LOVE BETRAYED. 



Goodnight! goodnight! parting is such sweet sorrow, 
That I shall say ' good night 'till it be morrow. ROMEO ANb JuLiEf. 



'Tis their last night, and they have gone 

Forth to the woodlands all alone. 

Sweet wild- wood valley ! never yet 

Did youth so tender, maid so true, 

Appear by Mora's lovely stream, 

Or roam thy green recesses through. 



Silent they walk, but all the while 

Then* mutual eyes those secrets tell 

That speech might strive, and still in vain, 

To interpret half so well. 



ii. 



Ah, little does the maid suspect 
That love may dwindle to neglect ; 



THE MAID OF MORA 



31 



Or that men live who take a joy 

To treat a woman as a toy, 

A lovely but inferior creature, 

Admired for grace of form, or feature ; 

With doting passion sought one day, 

And on the morrow cast away. 
Was he like these ? ah, never ! never ! 
No falsehood should their lives dis- 
sever ! 

Confiding still, she thought no ill, 
But gave her heart to him for ever ! 

in. 

' Sun ! awakeuer of care, 

Withhold thy dawning light ; 

Moon ! the lover's planet fan-, 

Prolong the hours of night ! ' 
Thus prays the passion-stricken boy, 

Extravagant and fond : 
The maid as loving, but more coy, 

Would willingly respond, 
f How fast the moments neet away ! 

Oh, how unwelcome is the day ! 7 

But lest her speech might seem too bold, 

She leaves the loving thought untold. 



At length, upon a flowery bank, 

O'ercanopied by leafy arches, 

Form'd by the intermingling boughs 

Of fragrant linden-trees and larches, 

They sit ; the nightingale the while 

Singing, as if from every feather 

In all its frame it pour'd the notes; 

And thus the pair discourse together: 

v. 

' Old stories tell that men are fickle, 

False and fickle every one, 
And that love by guile untainted 

Never dwelt beneath the sun. 

Great in sorrow, strong hi danger, 

Must his pure affection prove, 

Who would hope to win for ever 

Maiden's passion, woman's love/ 

VI. 

' Amethysta, best beloved ! 
Since first thine eyes upon me shone, 

My soul has had no other joy 

Thau' love of thee, and thee alone : 

No other passion shall it own ; 

And be the doubt for ever far ! 



Thee at my side, whate'er betide, 
In vain the envious world shall war; 

I'll love thee still, 

Through good, through ill, 

My light, my life, my guiding star ! ' 

VII. 

* And couldst thou, Gilbert, for my sake 

Endure the freezing looks of scorn '? 

If slander's tongue should do me wrong, 

And pride should call me lowly born, 

Wouldst thou, as n'ow, repeat thy vow, 

Nor prove for vanity forsworn ? ' 

VIII. 

1 Ah, never ! Envy may defame, 

And men may censure if they will; 

Thy virtue shall disprove their blame, 

And Gilbert will adore thee still. 
No rancorous tongue shall work thee ill; 

And pride itself, maiden mine, 
Shall bow to worth so high as thine; 

And envy with a sigh confess 
Thy least of charms thy loveliness.' 

IX. 

' And couldst thou (oh, forgive the fear 
Fond as a woman's fear should be !) 
Couldst thou endure, not scorn alone, 

But scorn and poverty for me ? 

Couldst thou, for Aniethysta's sake, 

Renounce the honours, thine by birth, 

The wealth, the titles, and the power, 

And all that men most prize on earth; 

And dwell in our secluded cot, 

By all thy former friends forgot, 

And never chide me or repine 

That I consented to be thine 1 ' 

x. 

' No, Amethysta ! poor the heart 

That veers as fortune s currents blow; 

And mine shall be a nobler part 

My true affection shall not know 

Change or decrease, or ever cease 
To prize thee best of all below. 

Love, like the beacon on the sea 
That warns the tempest-beaten bark, 
Still shines, if true, like mine for thee, 
The brightest when the sky is dark ! } 

XI. 

Thus as they speak his fingers play 
Amid her soft luxuriant tresses, 



32 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



Their cheeks with mutual blushes bum, 

Their tender eyes exchange caresses. 

So gentle is' the night of May, 

So much the lovers have to say, 

They never heed the flight of time ; 

And it is far towards the hour 

When sounds the matin chime, 

Ere from their sheltering forest bower, 

And bank with early flowers bestrewn, 

They rise, and think they rise too soon, 

And see the modest eastern sky 
Blushing because the morn draws nigh, 
And hear the woods and welkin ringing 
"With the sweet song the lark is singing. 

XII. 

{ Oh, light the touch of time has been, 

And flowers his hand has carried, 

Or thus all night in forests green 

Our feet would not have tarried. 

"We have outwatch'd the moon, my love, 

And all the stars but one; 
There is no need that we should part 

For rising of the sun. 
The air so full of odours sweet, 

The breeze-encircled hill, 

The music of the early birds, 

And thy sweet looks and sweeter words, 

Invite to linger still.' 
The maid look'd up into his face 
With eyes, he thought, that dimm'd the 
clay, 

And the reply upon her lips 
Melted in happy smiles away. 

xni. 

But who is this of stalwart frame, 
Who paces slow the forest shade; 
His looks on Gilbert turning now, 

And now upon the maid? 
Her brother Porphyr ; bending down, 

Undarken'd by his usual frown, 
His lips upon her brow he presses, 
And thus the loving pair addresses : 

XIV. 

' Happy the lot of those who cannot see 

Down the dark vistas of futurity ; 
But happier far who never seek to know 
What God in mercy veils from men be- 
low! 

And, oh, most sad, most miserable lot 
To know the future though we wish it 
not! 



To read our fate's enigma in the gloom, 
Yet have no cunning to avert the 

doom ! 
To see the phantoms though we shut 

our eyes, 
And groAv more wretched as we 



more Avise ! 



'row 



xv. 



' Such miserable fate is mine ; 
And hence, abaudon'd to my sorrow, 

To me the present cannot shine, 

To-day is darkened by To-morrow: 

Fool to myself, I've tempted fate ; 

I've learn'd its secret and its malice ;-- 

I've seen the spots upon the sun, 
And drunk the poison in the chalice. 

XVI. 

' Dark days are lowering in the sky 

For thee, sister, whom I cherish'! 

I hear the tempest howl on high, 

I see the flowers of passion perish ! 

And so I warn thee, while I may, 

Of love that blossoms for a day, 

And then grows pale and hastens to 

decay.' 

XVII. 

With flushing cheek and kindling eye, 
Sir Gilbert gave him prompt reply, 
' Had other than thyself express'. 1 
Such doubts as these, to wound my 

breast, 

This sword, in battles worn, might teach 

More courteous and befitting speech : 

Go, Porphyr, go ; thy love shall plead 

The best excuse for thy suspicion ; 

But know, thine art is false and vain, 

And worthless all thine erudition : 

Thou canst not read the Book sublime, 

Thou canst not turn the page of Time/ 

XVIII. 

Still Porphyr sigh'd, ' Put up thy 

glaive ; 

I came to warn to shield to save ! 

I curse the knowledge I have bought, 

But bear no auger in my thought. 

If to this maid thy love be true, 

Never oh, never shalt thou rue! 

But if deceitful and forsworn, 
Twere better thou wert never born!' 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



33 



And as he said he turn'd away, 
Nor for his sister would delay, 
Nor Gilbert's angry looks commanding 
him to stay. 

XIX. 

Now from his eastern couch the sun 
Erewhile in cloud and vapour hidden, 

Rose in his robes of glory dight, 
And skywards, to salute his light, 

Upsprang a choir, unbidden, 

Of joyous larks, that, as they shook 

The clew-drops from their russet pinions, 

Peal'd forth a hymn so glad and clear, 

That Darkness might have paused to 

hear 
Pale sentinel on Morn's dominions 

And envied her the floods of song 
Those happy minstrels pour'd along. 

xx. 

The lovers listen'd. Earth and Heaven 

Seemed pleased alike to hear the strain; 

And Gilbert, soften'd by the song, 

Forgot his momentary pain : 

1 Happy/ said he, ^beloved maid, 

Our lives might flow 'mid scenes like this ; 

Still eve might bring us dreams of joy, 

And morn awaken us to bliss. 

I could forgive thy iealous brother; 

And Mora's quiet shades might be, 

Bless'd with the love of one another, 

A Paradise to thee and me. 

XXI. 

Yes, Peace and Love might build a nest 

For us amid these vales serene, 
And Truth should be our constant guest 
Amid these pleasant wild- woods green. 

My heart should never nurse again 
The once fond dreams of young Ambi- 
tion ; 

And Glory's light should lure in vain, 

Lest it should lead to Love's perdition ; 

Another light should round me shine, 

Beloved, from those eyes of thine! ' 

xxn. 

' Ah, Gilbert ! happy should I be 
This hour to die, lest fate reveal 

That life can never give a joy 

Such as the joy that now I feel. 

Happy ? ah, no ! I would not die, 

Though sure of immortality, 



And sure to watch for thee above, 

There to renew more perfect love, 

Without the pain and tears of this, 

Eternal, never-palling bliss ! 

Ah, no ! ah, no ! I cling to life : 

Why should I fly the care and strife ? 

Why should I seek those griefs to shun 

That wait on all beneath the sun ? 
Whate'er thy joy, be mine to share 
Whate'er thy grief, be mine to bear ! ' 

XXIII. 

And more she yet would say, and strives 
to speak ; 

But warm, fast tears begin to course her 
cheek, 

And sobs to choke her ; so, reclining still 

Her head upon his breast, she weeps her 
fill : 

And all so lovely in those joyous tears 

To his impassion'd eyes the maid ap- 
pears, 

He cannot dry them, nor one word im- 
part 

To soothe such beauteous sorrow from 
her heart. 

XXIV. 

At last she lifts her drooping head, 
And, with her delicate finger, dashes 

The tear away, that like a pearl 

Hung on her soft eyes' silken lashes; 

Then hand in hand they take their way 

O'er the green meadows gemm'd with 

dew, 

And up the hill, and through the wood, 

And by the streamlet brig-lit and blue, 

And sit them down upon a stone, 

With mantling mosses overgrown, 

That stands beside her cottage door, 

And oft repeat, 

When next they meet, 

That Time shall never part them more. 

XXV. 

He's gone ! Ah, no ! he lingers yet, 

And all her sorrow who can tell, 

As, gazing on her face, he takes 

His last and passionate farewell ? 

' One word !' said he, ' and I depart 

With thy dear image in my heart : 

One more to soothe a lover's pain, 

And think of till I come again 

3 



34 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



One kiss ! ' Their red lips meet and 
tremble ; 

And she, unskilful to dissemble, 

Allows, deep blushing, while he presses, 

The warmest of his fond caresses. 



XXVI. 



He's gone ! his lessening form recedes 
Adown the tapering wild-wood shade, 



And sadness with redoubled weight 

Falls on the spirit of the maid. 
He's gone ! and to her eyes the sun 

grows dim ; 
There is no music in the sweet birds' 

hymn ; 
The air seems thick, and darkness veils 

the day : 
He's gone ! all's black ! the world has 

lost its ray ! 



CANTO FOURTH. 

HOPE AND FEAR. 

His words, replete -with guile, 
Into her heart too easy entrance won. 

. . . . In her ears the sound 
Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregned 
With reason to her seeming, and with truth. PARADISE LOST. 



THE bells, in Minden's turrets dun, 

Awoke a merry chime, 
And banners streaming to the sun 

Proclaim'd a festal time ; 
The song was sung, the welcome rung, 

And bonfires blazed afar : 

And all for young Sir Gilbert's sake, 

Return'd from fields of war. 

n. 
Five hundred merry-hearted guests 

Made banquet in the hall ; 
And drank a health, in bumpers deep, 

TTi.^__ J' t ** 

With 




.oft, 

very wall. 

w to our youthful lord, 

Who hath won renown by his good broad 

sword ! 

Health and long life to Minden's heir ; 
A? d M untrouble ? by grief and care, 
And a bride most loving and most fair ! ; 

in. 
A burning blush upon his cheek 

Unmantledasheheard; 

.tor memories, forgotten long, 

Awaken'd at the word. 



His old sire mark'd his crimsoning 
cheek, 

' Nay, never blush, my son; 
Although the bride has waited long, 

Both hand and heart are won: 
Fill higli your goblets to the brim; 

P'lll nigh with beading wine; 

And drink, ye friends of Minden's house, 

The health of Rosaline !' 

IV. 

Sir Gilbert's cheek, one moment red, 

The next grew marble pale ; 
And, in the consciousness of guilt, 

He felt his spirit fail : 
He thought of Amethysta's love, 

The trusting heart she bore, 

The beauty of her mind and face, 

The constancy he swore. 

v. 

But, was he born so base a churl, 
I hat he should wed a peasant girl? 

Oh, no ! he was a baron bold, 

.Proud of his rank, though scorning gold ; 

And could not, for the very shame, 

Marry a maid without a name. 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



35 



vi. 

1 I'll drink to Rosaline,' said he ; 
' Of all these lands the pride ; 
And happy may our bridal be, 

And happier the bride !' 

In vain ! in vain ! His soul was sad ; 

He knew his reasoning was bad, 

He knew that he was self-debased ; 

And though the past might be retraced, 

He lack'd the courage to obey, 

And strove to drink remorse away. 

* Well done, well done, my gallant son !' 

His smiling sire replied, 

* For he who weddeth her receives 

Ten thousand acres yielding wine, 

Ten thousand feeding sheep and beeves, 

Ten thousand rich with com and rye ; 

And thou, my son, shalt make her thine, 

And I will bless thee ere I die !' 

VII. 

Long past the midnight sat the guests, 

With bacchanalian songs and jests, 

Till through the oriel windows bright 

The morning shone with crimson light : 

And still the father bless'd his son, 

And thought upon his acres won ; 

And still they pour'd the ripe-red wine 

To Gilbert and to Rosaline. 

vin. 

And Amethysta, where was she? 

At her lone window, silent sitting, 

Her eyes now turn'd upon the sky, 

To watch the light clouds moonwards 

flitting ; 

Now turn'd upon the vale beneath; 

Now to the forest's leafy cover ; 

Now to the hill-path to her door, 

To watch the coming of her lover. 

IX. 

'Why stays he thus, sister sweet? 

What can delay his tardy feet ? 

Long since, were he a lover meet 

For maid so tender and sincere, 

The truant would have wander'd here.' 

x. 

1 1 can but weep; yet know not why, 

For still the tears unbidden run : 

Ah, surely Joy should follow Love, 

As sunshine follows from the sun ! 



No ! Love and Sorrow are akin ; 

Yet, though the casual tear may flow, 

I am so happy with the Love, 

I will not murmur at the Woe. 

XI. 

c But 'tis not sorrow makes me weep ; 
Fear it may be, yet mix'd with glad- 
ness; 

And when I sigh, my heart is full 

As much of pleasure as of sadness. 

And thou, my brother ! moody still 1 

And still thy heart with anguish laden? 

Hast sought in vain, o'er all the earth, 

The one true-loving, human maiden V 

XII. 

' I've sought, but evermore in vain, 
One kind in love and firm in duty ; 

One who with purity of soul 

Combines the form of youthful beauty. 

I've found the loveliness I sought, 

The feature and the form Divine ; 

But, ah ! the truth in deed and thought 

Never, ah, never can be mine.' 

XIII. 

' Go, seek again the world is wide ; 
Why shouldst thou cease the fond en- 
deavour ? 

My heart has taught me there is one 
Wno, when he loves, can love for ever. 
My Gilbert, since the hour when first 

I led him to our cot, benighted ; 

Since first I heard his gentle voice, 

Since first our mutual troth was 

He has been true ; I know it well ; 
He loves me more than words can tell : 

My happy soul shall never die ; 

Love gives it wings to mount, to soar ; 

And dwell with his for evermore.' 

XIV. 

Again from out her casement peeping, 
When next the moon o'er Mora rose; 
With eyes of late unused to sleeping, 

Fair" Amethysta wept her woes. 

And still she watch'd, and still she wept. 

And gazed expecting down the glen ; 

Still did she sigh, she scarce knew why, 

And still she breathed her Gilbert's 

name, 

And wondertt why, most loved of men, 
So tardily he came. 



THE MAID OF . 



And when the nights were wild and dark 

And weary travellers went astray, 

High from her lattice glow'd a light, 

That shone through storms the livelong 

night. 

To guide her lover on his way ; 

And still she breathed his name so dear 

Elate in hope or sunk in fear. 

XVI. 

Her brother Porphyr where was lie ? 

Had he no solace to impart, 

No word of sympathy or hope, 

To cheer his sister's breaking heart ? 

Ah, no ! he bade her hope no more. 

Vain words they seein'd, and idly spoken, 

She could not, loving as she loved, 

Believe the link was broken : 
Such hearts as theirs no fate should 

sever, 
And so she watch'd and trusted ever. 

XVII. 

He came not. Still at fall of night 

She burn'd her solitary light, 

By love enkindled love-attended ; 

And still her brother chid her care, 

And still he warn'd her to beware. 

His dreams of love were ended, 

He could not feel how deep her woe, 

How fond her trust he could not know. 

XVIII. 

Time pass'd and Gilbert never came : 
4 Can he be dead ? ' inquired the maiden ; 

' Can he be dead, and I survive, 
With doubt and sorrow overladen ? ' 

No he was still a living man, 

Her brother saw him yester-mom ; 

And though she struggled with her grief, 

Her heart was utterly forlorn : 

And Porphyr scowl'd, and vow'd to take 

Dire vengeance for his sister's sake. 

XIX. 

Thus pass away the weary weeks, 

And dim her eyes and pale her cheeks ; 

Thus pass they heavily on, but still 

Her love-light sparkles on the hill ; 

True as the evening star itself 

It shines upon her wall, 

When due towards the darkening east 

The lengthened shadows fall 



No more she gathers early flowers, 

No more in morning's dewy hours 

Trims with nice hand her rose-tree 

bowers ; 

No more she spreads the usual crumbs 
For her blithe robin when he conies, 
Wild to the world, but tame to her ; 
Their honest watch-dog sues in vain, 

Her customary smile to gain ; 

In vain her fondling kittens purr ; 

And the dust gathers on her lute 

Her voice is hush'd its strings are 

mute. 

XXI. 

And whither has her Gilbert fled ? 

Her Gilbert, from whose loving eyes 

The rays of goodness seem'd to spread 

Like sunlight from the skies ? 

Her Gilbert, on whose tender tongue 

The melody of passion hung ? 

Alas ! he is a busy man ; 

He signeth parchments all day long, 

And wooeth Rosaline at night, 

And joineth in her song. 

XXII. 

His sire, though old, is hale and stout, 

He bustles pompously about. 
And thinks upon the acres wide, 
And the rich dowry of the bride. 

XXIII. 

His mother she prepares a feast, 

Great stores of venison and wine, 

And foaming ale and rich conserves, 

That a thousand guests may dine : ' 

With wounded pride her heart would 

grieve, 

Did fewer grace the bridal eve 
Of Gilbert and liis Rosaline. 

XXIV. 

His little sisters, blithe and gay, 

Busk them bonnily all the day, 

_ And long for the tardy, tardy time, 

When for then- bridal bells may chime, 

When they may wear 

In their nut-brown hair 

The white-rose wreath and jewels rare, 

Like those of Rosahne the fair. 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



37 



XXV. 

They never heard of the loving heart 

Pining in sorrow all alone ; 

No one heedeth her daily smart, 

No one knoweth her nightly moan. 

Little, ah, little do they know 

That their joy will dawn hi woe 

To one more beautiful than they ! 

Let them be joyous while they may ; 

For the dark hour 

Begins to lower ; 

And then, ah, never, never more 

Shall they be happy as before ! 

XXVI. 

But now most merrily ring the bells, 
Over the hills the woods the dells : 

The gladsome echo falls and swells ! 
And with a quick rejoicing sound 
It bears the happy tidings round 
Of young Sir Gilbert's bridal day, 
To towns and hamlets far away. 

XXVII. 

Behold th' applauding peasants come, 
And maskers with the fife and drum ; 



And troops of laughing cottage girls, 
With roses gleaming through their 

curls, 
White-robed, in many a band advance, 

To tread the mazes of the dance, 
And strew with early flowers the grass 
Where Youth and Love and Passion 
pass. 

xxvni. 

And, lo, they come ! The blushing 

bride 

Leaning all fondly on his side, 
And casting down her beaming face, 

So full of modesty and grace, 

Lest the too-prying world should see 

How infinitely happy she. 

Alas ! the pity it would be, 

If aught that mortal man could do 

Should ever cause that bride to rue ! 

But yet the Fates must work their 

will, 

Whatever human heart may bleed ; 

And more than those who do the ill 

Must suffer for the evil deed. 



XXIX. 



One day ! one night ! yet what a change they bring ! 
Hidi in the clouds the same sweet birds may sing, 

The same green leaves may rustle in the air, 
And the same flowers unfold their blossoms fair, 

Still Nature smile, unchanged in all her plan, 
But, oh, what change may blight the soul of man ! 

The sun may rise as brightly as before, 
But many a heart can hail its beams no more ; 

J Tis but one turn of earth's incessant ball. 

Yet in that space what myriad hopes may fall ! 

What love depart ! what friendship melt away ! 

. Ay, Virtue's self may wane to her decay, 

Torn from her throne, heart-placed, in one eventful day ! 



CANTO FIFTH. 

THE BRIDAL FEAST 

She fables not. I feel that I do fear 
Her words, set <*?*"$%&** 
Dips me all o'er. COMOS. 



i. 

'Tis past the mystic rites are done- 
Gilbert and Rosaline are one ; 
And little heed has Gilbert given 
To the fond heart that he has riven. 
Ay, she may pine, and moan, and weep, 
And feed on thoughts that banish 



sleep, , .. 

He'll come and visit her full soon, 

When he has pass'd his honeymoon ; 

And he will give her jewels rare, 

And golden bands to bind her hair, 

And gems that women love to wear, 

And make her rich as she is fair ; 

And Time shall make her heart forget, 

And she shall smile and love him yet. 

n. 

But now he cannot think 
Of another than his bride ; 

And beautiful is she 

'< As she blushes by his side : 

And his father, self -contented, 

Wears a smile upon his face, 

Blessing aye the happy day 

That has dawn'd upon nis race ; 

And his mother, richly vestured, 

Sits majestic in the hall, 

Greeting every guest that enters 

To the gallant festival. 

in. 

In old Minden's lordly mansion 

Shall be revelry to-night ; 

From the roof-work high and fretted 

Hang a hundred lustres bright, 

That pervade the very casement 

With a sun-surpassing light. 



IV. 

Pour ye out the sparkling liquor 

In the goblets like a tide, 
That a thousand guests may quaff it, 

To the welfare of the bride ! 
Then again, fill up, high frothing, 

Be the bumper full and 'fair, 

To be drain'd to Gilbert's welfare, 

Lady's love and Minden's heir : 

May his years be full of pleasure, 

And his days devoid of care ! 

v. 

But hark ! what voice was that ? 

Was't of the air or earth, 

That rose so suddenly 

Amid the festal mirth ] 

Above them and about 

The echo seera'd to swell ; 

And it said, Oh, farewell, love ! 

Oh, happiness, farewell ! 

For never, never more 

In Minden shall ye dwell ! 

Misery!' 

VI. 

The guests all thought it strange, 

But nothing could they see, 
And blooming cheeks grew pale 

At that wild melody. 

And hark ! it rose again 

In a plaintive strain 

'Misery! 5 

It came now here, now there, 

Then melted into air, 

'Misery!' 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



39 



VII. 

What was the matter with the fire? 

The sparks came rushing out ; 
The writhing flames burn'd pale and 
blue, 

And twined themselves about ; 
And now they sank, now rose again. 

About the chimney tall, 
Casting a light of lurid white 
On the rich emblaz'ned wall. 

VIII. 

What was the matter with the lamps, 

That they dangled to and fro '? 
That the waning lights unsteadily 
rock'd, 

And sank in their sockets low ? 
That again they burn'd red, blue, and 

green, 

And a chequered radiance cast 
On the fear-pale faces of the guests, 

That watch'd them all aghast '? 

Each lustre shook as it would fall, 

And form'd strange shadows on the 

wall : 
There was a witchery on them all. 

IX. 

And still half-utter'd sounds 

Amid the silence fell, 

Saying, ' Oh, farewell, Love ! 

Oh, Happiness, farewell ! 

For never, never more 

In Minden shall ye dwell ! 

Misery ! misery ! ' 

x. 

And as they died away, 

A gentle voice began 

A more melodious song 

Than ever was heard by man ; 

But sad, and faint, and slow 

The solemn accents rose, 

' Farewell to happiness ! 

Farewell the heart's repose ; 

For never, never more 

Shall either as before 

Around my pathway shine, 

Or cheer this soul of mine, 

Misery ! ' 

XI. 

' Where can this solemn music be ? ' 
Exclaim'd each wondering guest ; 



While the bride concealed her pallid face 

Upon the bridegroom's breast. 

Bold in the battle-field was he, 

When shafts of death flew near, 

But now he trembled as he stood, 

With a strange unusual fear. 

XII. 

It was the music of his dream, 

Forgotten long ago, 

That woke such pity in his soul 

When slumbering in the snow. 

He knew the mournful voice again, 

And crowding thoughts of sorrow and 

pain 

Oppress'd his spiiit and his brain ; 
And whether it were of earth or heaven, 
His soul was awed, his heart was riven. 

XIII. 

There was a rushing sound of winds, 

The doors flew open all, 

And lo ! a lady, mild and bright, 

With rustling robes of silvery white, 

Came gliding through the hall. 

XIV. 

A golden zone enclosed her waist, 

She wore a ruby on her breast. 

And round her brow a chaplet fair, 

Made all of diamonds bright and rare, 

Of which the least conspicuous gem 

Was worth a monarch s diadem ; 

And a halo followed as she went, 

Serene, and sad, and innocent. 

xv. 

She seemed like Melancholy's self, 

A living sorrow, as she pass'd ; 

Her face was pale, her step was slow, 

Her modest eyes were downwards cast : 

But who she was, and whence she came, 

And what her lineage or her name, 

Not one of all the guests could tell ; 

But Gilbert sigh'd, and knew her well. 

XVI. 

'Twas Amethysta's gentle face, 

Her look serene, her form of grace ; 

And much he marvell'd to behold 

(No cottage maiden could she be) 

Her diamond crest, her zone of gold, 

And her step of queenly dignity. 



40 



TEE MAID OF MORA. 



XVII. 

There was deep silence in the hall, 

You might have heard a feather fall ; 

The guests Avere wonder-stricken all, 

And stood aside to let her pass. 

Calmly, slowly glided she ; 
But her garments made a rustling 

sound, 
Soft as when breezes sweep the ground 

; Mid long sedge-grasses of the lea. 
A thousand eyes her progress track'd, 
A thousand hearts in concert beat; 
She never raised her drooping eyes 
Until she came to Gilbert's seat ; 
And then she stopp'd the bride mean- 
while 
Trembling and pale with doubts and 

fears 

And full upon the bridegroom turn'd 

Her face, all wet with gushing tears, 

And gazed with sad and earnest look : 

The mild reproach he could not brook, 

But turn'd away his guilty eyes, 

Fill'd with remorseful agonies. 



She laid her hand upon his arm, 

And bow'd her gentle head, 
And moved her lips as if she spoke, 

But never a word she said; 

Or if she did, the bride was near, 

And not a whisper could she hear. 

But Gilbert started at her touch, 

And press'd his burning brow, 

Then rose and met her mournful gaze, 

Resolved to bear it now ; 
For her image, though he shut his eyes, 

Before his vision stole, 

And, oh, that mild reproachful glance, 

It look'd into his soul ! 

XIX. 

Ere word was said, she bow'd her head 

And pass'd like light away ; 
And when, and how, and whither she 
went, 

Was nobody could say : 
And the holy priest who married the 

bride, 

He knelt him down to pray, 
1 From sprites and phantoms, heavenly 
Lord, 

Deliver us alway !' 



xx. 

And whither went the bridegroom 
forth? 

They saw him at the door, 
And caught a glimpse of the lady's robe 

A step or two before. 

He spoke no word to his fainting bride, 

No word in his mother's ear, 

No farewell to his sire so old, 

Or his little sisters dear ; 
But he followed where the lady went, 
In sorrow and fear and wonderment. 

XXI. 

There was a lovely moon in heaven, 

That tinged the green woods gray, 

As far from Minden's festal halls 

She glided on her way. 
He could not choose but follow her ; 

For the high and potent spell 

Of his own remorse had enterM his soul, 

And dared him to rebel. 

XXII. 

Through many a pathless wood, 
O'er plains without a track, 

By many a deep ravine 
And yawning cavern black, 
He followed the lady's steps ; 

And ever Avhere she trod 

He saw a stream of lambent light 

Run trickling tlirough the sou ; 

And flowers with burning leaves took 

root, 
And sparkled underneath her foot. 

XXIII. 

At length they reach'd a forest glade, 

Whose thick impenetrable shade 

Was seldom cheer'd by beams of noon, 

Or milder radiance of the moon ; 

And lo ! o'er all the verdant grass 

Was spread a coverlet of fire, 
And gentle sounds of music came, 

As if from some celestial lyre, 

Most melancholy, most entrancing : 

First sad and slow, but passing sweet, 

Then brisk, as if they moved the feet 

Of elves and fairies dancing. 

xxiv. 
The sturdy trunks and twisting boughs 

Of the tall o'erarching trees, 

The pendulous foliage of the wood, 

That swung to the midnight breeze, 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



41 



The grass that rustled at their feet, 

And the little brook that roll'd, 

All seem'd to Gilbert's fear-struck eyes 

To shine like molten gold ; 
And pale green names about them 

whirl'd, 

And through his garments slid and 
cuii'd. 

XXV. 

'Twas harmless fire ; but in his brain 

There was a hot consuming pain. 

Oft had he heard of wicked sprites, 

Fashion'd of name by hellish rites, 

Which took all shapes of mortal beauty, 

To lure the soul from Christian duty : 

Could she be one? Nay, Gilbert, nay ; 

She never led thy faith astray, 

But worshiped God with reverent knee, 

And had no fault but love of thee. 

XXVI. 

Within this forest glade they stood, 

In silence and in solitude. 

She put her gentle hand on his, 

And look'd into his face forlorn : 

Ah, more than words of bitter wrath ! 

Ah, more than. looks of cruel scorn! 

That look so sad, so mild, so fair, 
Crush'd him, and stung him to despair. 

XXVII. 

1 Listen !' said she, in mournful tone, 
4 And learn my secret ere we part ; 
I've brought thee to the wilds alone, 
That I may show thee all my heart. 

Behold a, maid of heavenly birth, 

Form'd of the eternal fires that shine 

To light and warm this world of thine ; 

Not as thyself, of grovelling earth, 

But of an essence more divine. 

XXVIII. 

' Greater than thou, son of clay ! 

A thousand years shall pass away, 

And never witness our decay : 

But yet ah, less than thou ! 

Immeasurably less ! 
Our mortal souls must fade at last 

Into eternal nothingness ! 
For this through many a year 

We shed the bitter tear ; 
And for this great, unutterable woe, 
Our tears shall never cease to flow. 



XXIX. 

1 And yet, mortal man ! 

Whose days are as a span, 

Not hopeless all are we : 

Love can bestow 

A solace for our woe, 

And give us Immortality. 

XXX. 

* If from a human heart we win 
A love devoid of guile and sin, 
A love for ever kind and pure, 
A love to suffer and endure. 

Unalterably firm and great 

Amid the angry storms of fate, 

For ever young, for ever new, 

For ever passionate and true; 

This gain'd, all woe is past, all joy 

begun 
Heaven is our hope Eternity is won ! 

XXXI. 

1 The doom of death that we deplore 

Lies on our suffering souls no more ; 

We share the threescore years and ten, 

And the eternal heaven of men. 

I thought thy love the ray divine 

That was to guide me from despair ; 

And how I trusted how I loved 

Gilbert ! let thine heart declare. 

XXXII. 

' For thee I would have borne 

All poverty, all scorn, 
Hunger and thirst and cold, 

All misery untold, 

With steadfast mind ; 

Disease and care and pain, 

And all the woes that reign 

O'er humankind ; 
Most happy of all ills to bear my part, 
Bless'd witn the kindness of one constant 

heart, 

And the dear hope, enhancer of my love, 
Of immortality with thee above ! 

XXXIII. 

1 1 placed my soul upon this little chance, 
And it has f ail'd ; and never, never more 
Shall hope and gladness cheer me as of 

yore. 

I wake to misery from a blissful trance: 

The trial has been made, 

The answer has been given, 



42 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



And I have lost my joy 
My hope my love my heaven ! 

xxxiv. 

1 Thou hast been false, and all is lost ! 

I have become again 

A worthless atom, weather-tpss'd 

Upon the world's wide plain ; 

Living my little hour 

In sunshine or in shower, 

Then dying in the sorrow, 

That on my night of death 

There shall arise no morrow : 

No solace ! no relief ! 

No love to cheer my grief ! 

Misery ! misery ! ' 

xxxv. 

A thousand voices seem'd to swell 

Upon the midnight air, 

And join the maiden in the cry 

Of her intense despair : 

Above them and around 

Arose the mournful sound 

' Misery ! misery ! ' 

XXXVI. 

Sir Gilbert knelt upon the grass, 

And struggled hard to speak ; 

He clasp'd his hands and bowdhis head, 

And tears bedeVd his cheek. 

' Forgive my crime to Love and thee, 

daughter of the Sun ! 

Pity, oh, pity and forgive 

The wrong that I have done !' 

XXXVII. 

' * Alas ! immortal man, 
Small is the boon to crave ; 

I pity and forgive, 

But have no power to save ! 

Ten thousand angry sprites 

Are hovering in the air, 

Their fiery hands upraised 

To strike, and not to spare ! ' 

xxxvm. 

Sadly Sir Gilbert raised his eyes, 

And saw them brightening all the skies: 

They came a swift and flaming cloud 

He heard their voices fierce and loud ; 

And all the phantoms seem'd to say, 

4 His life is forfeit let him pay.' 



XXXIX. 

One, proud and tall above the rest, 

Pointed a weapon at his breast 

A burning sword with blade of flame 

He shrank, and utter'd Porphyr's name. 

; Twas he the Spirit of the Fire ! 

Majestic in his scorn and ire ; 

His fierce red eyeballs flashing light, 

His vengeful arm upraised to smite. 

XL. 

But suddenly a mournful voice 
Arose upon the air; 
'Twas not the man's, for he was nerved 

His punishment to bear, 
But Amethysta's : she had grasp'd 
The hasty weapon, prompt to kill, 
Then sank in tears upon the earth 

To plead for him, beloved still. 
Great as his crime, she knew too well ! 
His death would double all her woe, 
Spare him, brother, spare ! ; she 

cried, 
* And for my sake avert the blow.' 

XLI. 

* And if a victim there must be, 
Oh, let the vengeance fall on me ! 

I can endure it for his sake, 
Nor murmur, though iny heart should 

break : 

Or if his punishment thou'st sworn, 

Let it be such as may be borne. 

Oh, let him live the allotted span 

That heaven has meted out to man, 

And I will weep, and watch, and pray, 

Unseen, but near him night and day, 

To guide and shelter him alway ! ' 

XLII. 

She spake she wept : the burning brand 

Feu slowly from ner brother's hand : 
' The man shall live ! ' he cried in scorn, 

' Not yet shall he expire : 

But better had he ne'er been born 

Than seen this day, and proved forsworn 

To a daughter of the Fire ! 

XLIII. 

' Upon his head I place a sign 

That shall for ever burn and shine, 

So that the spirits of Earth and Air 

May take no pity on his despair ; 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



43 



So that the spirits of Water and Flame 

May know liis guilt and curse his name ; 

So that all men then- doors may close, 

And shun him wheresoe'er he goes; 

So that all women, when they see him, 

May shut their eyes, and shuddering, 

flee him ! 

XLIV. 

'Winter and summer, day and night, 
Shall burn a pallid phantom light, 

A beacon evermore above him, 
To scare the eyes of those who love 

him ; 
His flesh shall wither, his bones decay, 

And grow decrepit in a day : 
He hath wrong'd a daughter of the 
Fire 
This be his doom till he expire ! ' 

XLV. 

He put his hand on Gilbert's brow, 
Oh, what a pain consumed him now ! 

About the distance of a span 

A light descended, blue and wan, 

And fix'd itself above his head, 

And all the fiery phantoms fled ; 

And Amethysta she was gone ! 

Upon the grass he lay alone, 
Making a sad and bitter moan. 

XLVI. 

A pang through all his frame he felt, 

As if his very bones would melt ; 
His auburn hair turn'd silvery gray, 
His firm flesh shrivelTd and shrank 
away; 



His youthful strength began to droop, 
His limbs to fail, his back to stoop : 

Oh, it was fearful to behold 
How a minute had made the young man 
old. 

XLVII. 

He rose, but whither should he go ? 
Where should he hide his pain and woe ? 
Cold horrors trembled through his frame, 
And the livid, searching, phantom 

flame 

Fill'd his brain with hideous light : 

He shut his eyes to shun the sight ; 

But still he saw it, and felt his head 

Shine like a ball of molten lead ; 

It cast a glare upon the ground ; 

While a thousand voices rang around 

'He hath wrong'd a daughter of the 

Fire. 

This be his doom till he expire! ' 

XL VIII. 

Yet he thought he heard, as he swoon'd 
away, 

A voice like Amethysta's say, 

' For thee, through many a year, 

I'll shed the bitter tear ; 

Wherever thou inayst go, 

I'll see and share thy woe, 

And 'mid all pain and ill 

Pray for and watch thee still.' 

And the words, as slumber o'er him 

stole, 
Fell like soft music on his soul. 



CANTO SIXTH. 

THE DOOM.'' 

Cover him, ye pines ! 
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs, 
Hide him ! PARADISE LOST. 

There is no future pang 



THE bridal guests went sadly forth; 

The men all wonder'd sore, 
And the women vow'd that thing like 
this 

Was never known before : 

Some said the lady was a witch, 

With her golden zone and diamonds 

Some thought she was a living maid, 
Whom false Sir Gilbert had betrajrd ; 

Some said she was an evil sprite, 
That her very robes were ghastly 
white; 

But all agreed, 
In very deed, 

That 'twas a mournful day, 

And that the glory of the house 

Had for ever pass'd away. 

n. 
The Lord of Minden pined like one 

Beneath an evil ban, 
And wander'd through his lonely halls 

A melancholy man. 
The mother in her chamber sat, 

And made incessant moan 

For the son she loved, so strangely lost 

Her beautifulher own. 

in. 




So sorrowful and bright, 



That stole her husband from her heart 

Upon her bridal eve; 
And whether she were a lady fair, 

Or phantom to deceive, 

Born of the vapours of the air, 

Flitting for ever here and there : 

Ah, no ! she thought it could not be, 

A very woman, alas, was she ! 
nd she wept her fate, a wife be- 
tray^, 

And a wrong'd and most uuliappy 
maid. 

IV. 

There came a pilgrim to the gate, 

With locks of silvery gray ; 

His face was pale, his back was bent, 

And he totter'd ever as he went 

Upon his weary way. 
The mother in her garden walkd, 

To breathe the morning air, 
And think upon her absent son, 

So gallant and so fair, 
And cherish every shadowy hope 
That glimmerM through despair. 

v. 

The pilgrim seized her by the hand, 

And fell upon his knee : 
* I am thy son thy very son ! ' 
With trembling voice, said he. 
* Give me thy pity, mother dear ! 

With look maternal see ; 

And let thy heart accept the son 

Accursed, but loving thee I J 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



45 



VI. 

' Alas, poor soul ! ' the lady cried, 

' May God thy wits restore ! 
But come not here to wring my heart 

With mockery so sore/ 
And then she look'cl upon his face, 

And started back with fear, 

For a light above the old man's head 

Was burning blue and clear ; 

And a ghastly glow 

It cast below 

And oh ! her blood ran chill, 

As with his bright, wild, haggard eyes 

He gazed upon her still. 

VII. 

She could not brook the piercing look 

Of that man so pale and old, 
She shrank affrighted from the touch 

Of his clammy hands so cold; 
And, sore afraid, she calPd for aid 

As to her robes he clung, 
For madness glitter'd in his eye, 
Though love was on his tongue. 

VIII. 

Alarm'd to hear that cry of fear, 

The Lord of Minden came, 
But stopp'd and shuddertt as he saw 

That blue and ghastly flame. 

The stranger grasp'cl him by the hand, 

Still bending on his knee, 

' I am thy son thy very son ! 

Look down and pity me.' 

His sire repell'd the loathsome touch, 

And breathed an inward prayer, 

* Save us, Lord, from wicked men, 

And phantoms of the air ! ' 

IX. 

In mourning robes the sorrowing bride 

Came forth, forlornest maid; 
The stranger look'd into her face, 

And clung to her for aid : 
*I am thy husband, Rosaline; 

Deep is my agony, 
And I bear a curse a heavy curse, 

And all f or love of thee ! ' 

But Rosaline, with shrieks of dread, 

CoverM her pallid face and fled. 

x. 

'Twas Gilbert miserable man ! 
Soul-stricken and heart-sore ; 



Scorn'd by the sire who loved him once, 

And the mother kind that bore; 

An odious and a fearful thing 

To the bride that should adore ! 

By all rejected and denied, 
He wrung his withered hands and 
sigh'd; 

And madden'd by excess of woe, 
He fled ah ! whither could he go ? 

XI. 

He knew not : 'twas a great despair 

By which his heart was riven; 
And, passive as the autumn leaf 

Before the tempest driven, 

The storm of passion bore him on, 

Weak-limb'd although he were. 

1 Hide me,' he cried, 'ye woods and caves, 

From the insulting glare 

Of the fierce, proud-hearted, bitter sun, 

That burns and mocks me as I run ! ' 

XII. 

Men hooted at him as he pass'd, 

The children left their play ; 
While lonely women barr'd their doors, 

And dogs flew out to bay, 

But heedless both of beast and man, 

Through field, through copse, through 

brake lie ran, 

To gain the shade of darkest woods, 
And hide him in their solitudes. 

XIII. 

And thus he wander'd wearily forth, 

Till pass'd the sunny noon, 
Till shone the. star of dewy eve, 

And rose the yellow moon : 
He took no heed of passing day, 

None of the night so fair ; 
Nor time nor space was aught to nim, 

So sunken in despair. 

'Twas past the midnight ere he stopped, 

And then upon the sward he dropped, 

Exhausted by his toil and pain, 

Sleep was the balsam of his brai \ 

XIV. 

The morning sun was fiery hot 
When from the ground he sprang ; 
The squirrel gamboll'd hi the trees, 

And the merry chaffinch sang ; 
And he was wan, and worn, and pale : 

Their joy distress'd him sore, 



46 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



He thought it shame the birds should 
sing 

While such a curse he bore, 

With madness gnawing in his brain, 

And hunger at his core. 

xv. 

True .'hunger-pains were hard to bear: 

Should he deplore his lot? 
The worst was death, and that were joy, 

And so it mattered not ; 

And 'mid the rustling leaves he lay, 

And bravely fasted all the day. 

XVI. 

But thirst was more than hunger keen ; 

And as the noon drew near, 

He would have given 

His hope of heaven 

For a draught of water clear. 

He rose with dry and hollow eye, 

And groped the woods among, 

In search of the delicious drops 

To cool his parching tongue ; 

And as he went he pluck'd and ate 

The berries as they hung ; 

And in despite of all his pain, 

He loved his wretched life again. 

XVII. 

He thought he heard amid the trees 

A sound as of a brook, 

A gentle murmur far away, 

In some sequestered nook. 

He gather'd up his waning strength, 

And on towards it stepp'd ; 
And when with walking wearied quite, 

He laid him down and crept, 
And moisten' d his desireful lips 

With droplets of the dew, 
In foxglove-bells or on the fern, 

That in the shadow grew; 

And still the light above him burn'd 

Wherever he went, wherever he turn'd. 

XVIII. 

Gently through violet-border'd banks 

The murmuring waters came ; 

He saw them glancing in the light, 

And bless'd their Maker's name. 

But alas the day ! Ms strength gave way 

Before he reach'd the brink : 
He saw the wild birds hop and play 
v And stoop to bathe and drink;' 



XIX. 

But he he could not move a limb 

To bring him closer to the brim ; 

His feverish hands he could not dip 

To bear the moisture to his lip ; 
And he cursed himself, he cursed the 

stream, 
And the birds that wanton'd in the 

beam, 

Then cast his humbled eves to heaven, 
And prayed to God to oe forgiven. 

xx. 
And thus until the night came on 

Upon the bank lie lay, 

Until, most miserable man, 

He lost the strength to pray : 

But still he watch'd the stream run by, 

Resign'd to suffer and to die. 

XXI. 

'Twas dark, without a moon or star, 

And, in a fitful mood, 

The wind all night made restless moan 

In the green leaves of the wood ; 

And heavy clouds athwart the sky 

Were drifted bv the blast, 
And ioy ! oh, more than mortal joy ! 

The rain came down at last. 
It dripp'd upon him from a bough, 

Upon his eyes, upon his brow, 

Upon his lips, upon his cheek, 

It gave him strength to move and speak; 

And his first accents fiWd in prayer 

To be delivered from despair. 

XXIL 
He cool'd his limbs upon the grass, 

First pleasure of liis pain, 
And then he crawl'cl toward the brook 

And drank the blessed rain, 

And own'd each drop was balm to save 

His fainting body from the grave. 

xxm. 
And thus refreshed, he sat him down 

Beneath a beechen tree, 
To watch the shadows of the moon 

t Sadly and silently ; 
And visions bright before him came 

Of the maiden of the flame : 

He thought of Amethysta mild, 

So good, so fair, by him beguiled ; 

And bow'd his forehead to the dust, 

And own'd his punishment was just. 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



47 



XXIV. 

Even at the last her look was kind, 

Her voice still echoed in his mind ; 

Oh, that her face he could but see, 

And sue for pardon on his knee ! 

The world despised, the world denied 

Father and mother, friend and bride 

But she, through all his grief and HI, 

Pitied and wept, and loved him still. 

XXV. 

Lost to the world in dreams like these, 

Of mingled love and woe, 
He did not mark, in the silence dark, 

A footfall sounding low, 
A stealthy tread among the leaves, 

That scared the sleepless owl ; 
But when there burst upon his ear 

The wild wolf's sullen howl, 
He started up, for he knew the sound, 

And sought for shelter all around, 
And saw amid the brushwood brown 
The wandering pack come scouring 
down. 

xsvr. 

The distant echoes of the wood 

Resounded with their cries, 

He saw the wild ferocious glare 

Of their bright and burning eyes : 

There were a score of them hunger-sped, 

Bushing like Ghouls on a corse new 

dead; 

And he struggled hard, with drooping 
strength, 

To climb an oaken bough, 

While big, cold drops of agony 

Came starting to his brow. 



XXVII. 

But his strength was gone as the pack 

came on : 

What should he do, kindly Heaven ? 

Down should he lie, and tamely die, 

And let his yielding limbs be riven, 

Flesh and sinew, bone from bone ? 

Horror, most horrid, even to think .' 

And again he strove to climb the bough 

That liimg o'er the streamlet's brink ; 

But his feet fail'd him as he trod, 

And he fell upon the slippery sod : 

Their teeth were in his quivering thigh, 

The misery of death was nigh. 

XXVIII. 

He struggled with his nerveless hands, 

And call'd to Heaven for aid, 
And his shrieks above the howl of wolves 

Re-echoed through the shade. 
And aid was near : a beldame old 

From out the thicket ran, 

With shrieks of terror loud as those 

Of the miserable man. 

XXIX. 

In each lank, shrivell'd, claw-like hand 

She bore aloft a flaming brand : 

In her eyes, fire in her track, light, 

She rusn'd upon their dazzled sight, 

And waved her torches to and fro, 

With shout and yell, with thrust and 

blow, 

Until the fiercest of the pack 
Shrank howling, terror-smitten, back : 
Great was their famine, but they fled. 
And cower'd in darkest nooks for dread. 



CANTO SEVENTH. 

THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE. 

Love is indestructible ; 
Its holy flame for ever burneth : 
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth. SOUTHET. 



OLD was the woman, ah, wretched old ! 
Cold was her touch, ah, clammy and 

cold! 
Her face was wither'd and sere and 

white, 

But her eyes were wells of living light : 
Time, that had shrunk each rounded 

limb, 

Had fail'd those lustrous orbs to dim ; 
And she was strong and quick of tread, 
Though the snows of age were on her 

head; 

And through the woods, intent to save, 
She bore him fainting to her cave. 

n. 

It was a dark and lonely spot, 

The kindly sunshine cheer'd it not 

With mom or evening ray ; 

And in the midst a feeble fire 

Burn'd ever night and day 

A fire of sticks, which the wither'd hag 

Went gathering alway 
For noons of summer fail'd to warm 
Her frozen veins and shivering form. 

in. 
She bore him to this lonely place, 

And on the floor she spread 
Clean straw to rest his weary limbs, 

And rushes for his head ; 
And from the spring that murmurM 

near 
She brought him draughts of water 

clear, 

And batried his temples o'er and o'er, 
His fainting spirit to restore. 



IV. 

Beside the hearth Sir Gilbert sat 

For many an hour awake, 
ind still she warm'd her clay-cola hands, 

But never a word she spake : 

And he was grateful for her care. 

And thank'd her oft and spoke her fair; 

But she nor lifted head nor eye, 

Nor breathed one accent in reply. 

v. 
Wearied at last he dropp'd asleep ; 

And o'er his slumbers came 
Visions most wild, of a maiden mild 

Singing amid the flame ; 
And of the woman gaunt and old, 

The hag without a name ; 
And of howling wolves and phantoms 

dire, 
Chasing each other through the fire. 

VI. 

Anon he had a sadder dream : 

Under a tree beside a stream 

He found his Aniethvsta, pale, 

And heard her mournfully bewail 

All her love-illusions lost, 

All her fond hopes foully cross'd ; 

And he breathed ner name in whispers 

deep, 
And bless'd her in his happier sleep. 

VII. 

Awaken'd, still that name so dear 

Slid faintly from his tongue ; 
And the witch-like woman, pale and old, 

Above him, drooping, hung. 

There was a smile upon her face, 

So tender and so full of grace, 



THE MAID OP MORA. 



49 



That Gilbert marvell'd much to see 

How fair a furrow'd cheek could be. 

Sweet loving-kindness ! if thou shine, 

The plainest face may seem divine, 

And beauty's self grow doubly bright 

In the mild glory of thy light. 

VIII. 

She spoke, and every word she said 

Was comfort to his mind: 
* Rise from the earth, suffering man, 

And know that God is kind ! 

If thou art smitten for thy sin, 

Repentance may thy pardon win. 

Happy would Amethysta be 

To near thy dreaming voice; 

Could she believe that thou wert true, 

Her spirit would rejoice, 
For all her lingering trust, I know, 
And all her love, and all her woe.' 

IX. 

The tears ran down Sir Gilbert's cheek, 

And joy with sorrow grew : 
'Whoe'er thou art that know'st my 
crime, 

Know my repentance too : 

But Amethysta, maid divine ! 

Lost by my guilt, can ne'er be mine; 

I am unworthy of her care, 

Too vile and sunken in despair, 

For love of one so good and fair. 

x. 

1 Speak of her still ! relenting Fate 

Has kindly brought me here : 

'Twill be a joy 'mid all my pain 

To breathe her name so dear. 

Speak of her ever night and morn ; 

The curse I suffer must be borne ; 
But it will ease its heavy load, 

To think of her and trust in God ; 

And I will share thy gloomy cave, 

And be thy servant and thy slave.' 

XI. 

1 Alas ! ' said she, * my voice is weak, 

And I am frail and old, 
And all the day and every night 

I perish with the cold. 

Behold the embers on the floor, 

They faint and flicker evermore ; 

But go thou forth, thine axe in hand, 

And roam through all the forest land. 



And hew me logs of oak and pine, 

Until thy strength shall tire, 
Logs thick and strong and branches 
long, 

To feed this wasting fire ; 
We'll sit together in the glow, 
And I will tell thee all I know 
Of Amethysta's love and woe.' 

XII. 

He took the axe and wander'd forth 

Amid the woodland shades, 
And gather'd branches as he went, 

Wind-scatter'd in the glades ; 
And still his courage and his strength 

With each exertion grew, 
Until the boughs of oak and pine 

In shooting splinters flew. 
And thus he wrought without complaint 

From morn until the noon ; 
He bound his loads with willow twigs, 

By the twilight of the moon, 

And bore theni on his weary back 

Through wilds unfurrow'd by a track. 

XIII. 

She rubb'd her wither'd hands for joy 

To greet him as he came, 
And branch on branch, and log on log, 

He cast into the flame, 

Till merrily the fire shot up, 

And pour'd the sparks like hail, 

Casting a glow of ruddy light 

On their faces thin and pale ; 

And by the hearth she took her seat, 

And beckon'd Gilbert to her feet. 

XIV. 

She told him of the dream he had 

By the watch-fire in the snow, 
And of the chaunt the maiden sang 

So musical and low, 
And of the pity in his soul 

Awaken'd by her woe ; 
And much he wondefd as he heard, 
And hung entranced on every word. 

xv. 

She told how 'spirits walk'd the world 

More beautiful than man, 
Who sail'd unseen upon the winds, 

Or on the waters ran ; 

Dwellers amid the airy spheres, 

Or denizens of flame, 

4 



50 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



All creatures of the self-same God, 

And worshipping His name ; 
Brighter than man, more pure, more 
free 
But, ah ! not half so blest as he. 

XVI. 

She told of Amethysta's love, 

How fond she was and true, 

And open'd his remorseful heart, 

And bared it to his view ; 
And shoVd how pitiless he was, 

How perjured and how vile, 
To woo this trusting maiden's love, 

; And win it to beguile, 
["And rob her (cruel, though forgiven,) 
Of joy on earth, of hope in heaven ! 

XVII. 

Yes, wisdom dwelt upon her tongue, 

And eloquent was she, 
And he listen'd with an earnest mind, 

And heart of agony, 
And never tired ; for dear to him 

Was Amethysta's name, 
Pear the remembrance of her love, 

Sweet maiden of the flame ! 

: And dearest far a blessed hope 

It made his soul with sorrow cope 

That he should see her 'mid his pain, 

And press her to his heart again. 

XVIII. 

And thus within that lonely cave 

The live-long days he pass'd, 

Many a week and many a month, 

Till the winter came at last ; 
'And every morning forth he went 

Until the noon of day, 
With toil and moil and blistering feet, 

Through all that forest gray, 
And hew'd the logs of pine and oak, 

Upon her fire to lay, 

For she, alas ! could never speak 

If the flames burn'd low and weak ; 

She loved a fire-light fierce and strong, 

And thickest boughs a fathom long ; 

And though the load his strength might 

break, 
; Twas borne for Amethysta's sake. 

XIX. 

Hard was his fare, his only food 
The roots and berries of the wood, 



His drink the water pure ; 
But if the mind be strong in love, 

The body can endure. 
His ami was weak, his step was faint, 

His moil and labour hard, 
But he breathed no murmur of com- 
plaint, 

But thought of his reward ; 

The pity of that woman wild, 

Whose tongue might never tire 

To talk of Amethysta mild, 

By the glowing of the fire. 

xx. 

Well could she speak : her converse high 

Was of the secrets of the world, 
And of the God who made the spheres, 
Whose hand the wandering comets 

hurl'd, 
Whose ceaseless love pervaded space, 

And peopled every rolling star 

With creatures wonderful as man, 

Or pure as ministering angels are, 

Whose wisdom govern'd all below, 

And made us better through our woe. 

XXI. 

It seem'd as if an angel spake : 

And while her gentle accents rung, 

He quite forgot her form and face 

So wrinkled, old, and scant of grace, 

Chann'd by the beauty of her tongue ; 

And much he leam'd : affliction taught 

The knowledge joy had never brought ; 

And every hour he lingered here 

Gave him the wisdom of a year. 

XXII. 

'ThlTwinter pass'd, the summer came, 

And clothed the fields and woods, 
The fruits grew ripe, the leaves decay'd, 

And winter pour'd its floods ; 
And still within that gloomy cave 

He dwelt, a lonely man, 
Enduring meekly, night and day, 

His melancholy ban : 
Though smitten, firm ; though bleeding, 

unsubdued ; 
Fate had not crush'd him in her wildest 

mood. 

Love was his solace 'mid his deepest ill, 
Patience his bosom-friend, and Hope 
his beacon still. 






THE MAID OF MORA. 



51 



There came a chilly winter day, 

The fire was burning black, 
He piled up logs and branches dry, 

To make the blazes crack, 
Ere the woman old, o'er the waste of 
snows, 

Came worn and weary back ; 
But fainter still the more he piled 

It burn'd upon the floor ; 
He blew it with his feeble breath, 

And fann'd it o'er and o'er ; 
But vain his toil the last dim spark 
Flicker'd and died and all was dark. 

XXIV. 

And he was grieved : the wintry winds 

Blew miserably cold ; 
Sad would she be at her return 

Over the frozen wold. 
Where could she be that bitter day ? 

Among the snow-drifts far away 
She might have sunk in pitfalls deep, 
Or lain on treacherous snows to sleep. 

XXV. 

The doubt was pain ; for good was she, 

And kind in all his misery ; 

And, next to memory of her 

Who bless'd him with her latest breath, 

Her sympathy relieved his woe, 
Her pity kept his heart from death._ 

XXVI. 

So forth he went, and all day long 

He sought her o'er the trackless snow ; 

With call and shout, he roarn'd about 

O'er woodland high, o'er valley low, 

O'er fell and brake, by frozen lake, 

And brooks that cold forbade to flow. 

XXVII. 

But vain the search : nor far nor near 

A human foot-print could he see, 
The drifting snows enwrapp'd the earth, 

Untrodden in their purity, 

Save by himself, and here and there 

The light feet of some timid hare 

Scared by his shouts, that glided by, 

Noiseless and swift, to shelter nigh. 

XXVIII. 

And thus all day amid the woods, 
Through perilous glens he stole ; 



He sought her in the deepest shades, 
He sought her in the wildest glades, 

With agony of soul ; 

But all in vain, and evening chill 

Found him alone and wandering still. 

XXIX. 

And yet she might have reach'd the 

cave 

The hope impelled him to return ; 

But all within was cold and void 

The feeble fire had ceased to burn. 

Again he went with cry and shout, 

And roain'd the woodlands all about, 

And sought her till the lingering day 

Shone through the mists upon his way. 

XXX. 

And far he wander'd in the night ; 

For when the morning rose, 
Before him lay his father's halls, 
Their turrets white with snows ; 
Before him lay the village church, 

Calm in the morning shine, 
Where slept, escutcheon'd and en- 
tomb'd, 

The fathers of his line : 
There were the font, the shrine, the 

tomb, 

For the three ages of their doom; 
And he gazed upon the holy place, 
And brush d the tear-drops from his 
face. 

XXXI. 

'Twas there forsworn he gave his hand 

To Rosaline, with gold and land, 
And broke the heart oh, shame to 

tell! 

Of a maid who loved him well. 
Sad were the memories of the place ; 

And as he gazed around, 
He thought the spirits of his sires 

Came up from every mound, 

To claim him of their company, 

And drag him under ground. 

XXXII. 

He read the epitaphs inscribed 

On each funereal stone, 
So flattering all, that surely death 

Had claim'd the good alone ; 

And he started with a sudden awe 

To stand before his own. 



52 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



His father had bewail'd him dead, 

His mother many a tear had shed, 

And raised a stone, that men might see 

How they revered his memory. 

XXXIII. 

It was a marble large and white, 

And he read it by the misty light : 

It said that virtue's paths he trod, 

And loved his country and his God ; 

That he was mild, sincere, and good, 

With grace and courtesy imbued ; 
Of gallant heart, of steadfast mind 

A tender son, a husband kind, 

Who never broke the word he gave 

In friendship staunch, in danger 

brave ; 
And he sigh'd and blush'd, ashamed to 

own 
The flattering falsehood of the stone. 

xxxiv. 
He linger'd yet : the village-bells 

Sent forth a joyous chime, 
Such as they rung when he was young, 

In the merry Christinas time, 

Such as they peal'd when he was wed 

To the virgin bride who mouru'd him 

dead; 

'Twas the last time he heard them toll, 
And they woke sad memories in Ms soul. 

xxxv. 

He linger'd still to hear them ring, 
They bore him back to life's first spring- 
Perchance they peal'd he could not 
tell 

Bridal chimes for Amadel, 

Sister loved and cherish'd well. 

Loud they rang, and he stepp'd aside 

To see the bridal and the bride. 

xxxvi. 

Behind a broad and aged yew 

His thin and wasted form he drew 

And there, unseen by mortal eyes 

tm M He watch ' d until the noon, 

While still the bells kept ringing a rhyme 

Pealing a joyous tune, 

Bearing o'er hills and dells away 

The tidings of a marriage-day. 

XXXVII. 

He watch'd : the gay procession came, 
lie could not tell the bridegroom's name 



But the blushing bride he knew her 
well 

'Twas not his sister Amadel. 
Pale and paler grew his cheek, 

As he gazed on Rosaline ; 

He knew her by her stately tread 

And her ripe lips, red as wine ; 

By her rich and raven hair, 
Streaming o'er her shoulders- fair ; 

By her beauty and her pride, 
Well he knew her once his bride ! 

XXXVIII. 

Should he mar her joy ? not he : 

Happy, happy might she be ! 

On her bliss he would not break 

Hand or heart he would not take : 

Dead to earth and dead to her, 

Laden with a heavy lot, 
All the prayer that he could breathe 

Was a prayer to be forgot. 
He heard the pealing organ swell, 

And peace upon his spirit fell ; 

The rite was said exchanged the vow 

His soul was Amethysta's now. 

XXXIX. 

And where was she the woman old, 
Whose sympathy was wealth untold ? 

Alas ! he had forgotten quite : 
A dull and thankless man was he, 
To linger there in dreaming lost, 

Forgetful of her misery ; 

Dying perchance in pitfalls drear, 

Ho one to aid her, no one near. 

XL. 

The thought was like a mortal pain, 
And he wanderM to the woods again. 
No more he trod the spotless snow 
With tardy footsteps faint and slow : 
Once more bliss ! he was a boy 

A sudden youth, a sudden joy 
Shot through his heart and nerved his 

limbs : 

He felt his youth in every pore, 

Light, hopeful, vigorous, and free, 

As in the happy days of yore. 

XLI. 

'he wind that stirrM the forest boughs 

Blew freshly in his hair, 

No longer scant and hoary gray, 

But auburn clustering fair, 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



53 



Such as in youthful prime it grew, 
And his pulse beat high with courage 



new. 

For him some loving saint had striven. 

No more the light above him shone, 

His curse removed, his sin forgiven 

Now he would live to Love alone. 

XLII. 

And still with shout and cry he went 

Among the woodlands wild, 
To seek the woman of the cave, 
Whose pity snatch' d him from the 
grave, 

Whose converse had beguiled 
The weary days, the nights of woe, 
When he was cursed by all below. 

XLIIL 

There were sweet voices in the sky, 

Now near and now remote, 

High in the undulating air 

A song appear'd to float 

The mournful soul of Music dwelt 

In each entrancing note. 

He listened to the heavenly sounds, 

And thought that he could hear 

His long-lost Amethysta's name 

That name for ever dear 

Mingling with his, weird harps on high 

Teeming the while with harmony. 

XLIV. 

The clear full moon shone brightly down 

O'er wide extending snows, 
And ever as he wander'd on, 

The melting music rose. 
'Twas midnight ere he reach'd the cave, 

And feebly he could mark, 

With hope and joy, a light within, 

Pale peering through the dark. 

XLV. 
He gathered leaves and branches dry, 

And piled them on the floor, 
And gently fed the waning fire, 

Till flames began to roar ; 
And then he carried logs of oak 

And sturdy boughs of pine, 
Until the darkness of the cave 
Grew bright as summer shine. 

XLVI. 

And as he piled, there was a sound 
V 0f heavenly music all around \ 



And light pervaded all the place 
It shone upon the woman's face, 

And as she lifted up her eyes 

All air was rife with harmonies ; 

And fill'd with solemn awe was he 

But was he dreaming ? could it be ? 

XLVII. 

Yes ! it was Amethysta's self ! 

There was no other face so fair : 

He knew her by her eyes of light, 

He knew her by her long fair hair, 

He knew her by her heavenly smile, 

And trembled with excess of joy ; 

For there she stood, with arms out- 

stretch'd 

Towards him, lovingly, yet coy. 
Smiles chased the tears upon her face, 

He fell into her warm embrace ; 
While she, supported on his breast. 
With sighs her love, with sobs her joy 
express'd. 

XLVIII. 
And it was long ere either spake ; 

For speech is slow to tell 
The deeper feelings of the heart, 

But silence preaches well. 

And when at last their love and joy 

Found vent in language, 'twas one 

word 

She Amethysta ! ' < Gilbert ! ' he 
The only accents either heard. 

XLIX. 
4 And was it thou ? ' he said at last ; 

* Wert thou that woman old, 
Whose pity from my suffering heart 

The tide of anguish roll'd ? 

Sole friend when all the world denied 

Sole light when all was dark beside 

Sole comfort in excess of ill, 

In pain and sorrow loving still, 

And was it thou ? dull sense of mine j 

Not to have known thee, maid divine ! 

Not, in all trials, to have known 
That thou wert true, and thou alone ! ' 

L. 
Her smile betra/d the long disguise, 

And love celestial fill'd her eyes, 

As she replied, ' Thou, Gilbert, too ! 

Thou in all sorrow thou wert true ! 

For me thou borest grief untold, 

Hunger and misery and cold ; 



54 



THE MAID OF MORA. 



For love of me, in this dull cave 

Thou wert a menial and a slave : 

My name in nightly visions hung, 

Struggling for utterance, on thy tongue 

Oft in thy slumbers have I heard 

Thy pallid lips repeat the word : 

'Mid sorrow has "thy love been tried, 

Now has thy soul been purified ! ' 

LI. 

' Mine own beloved, rest upon this heart, 
Whence thy dear image never shall 

depart ; 

True to ourselves, the miseries of yore 
Never, oh never, shall divide us more ! 
Gilbert will bless thee with Ms latest 

breath, 
And love shall conquer e'en the pangs 

of death : 
In that last hour his prayer to Heaven 

shall be 
A hope of love in realms of bliss with 



thee ! ' 



HI. 



Her flushing cheek and tender eyes 

Half hidden in his breast, 

She thank'd him with responsive sighs, 

And all her love confess'd. 



Then lifting up her radiant face, 

She clasp'd her hands and prayed, 

( This is the crown of human joy, 

Now my reward is paid ; 

My happy soul shall never die 

Love gives it Immortality ! ' 

LIII. 

There seem'd a chorus in the air 
Of a thousand voices fair, 
Softly singing every one : 
' Now her day of grief is done ; 
Her happy soul shall never die- 
Love gives it Immortality ! ' 

LIV. 

The cave seem'd full of spirits bright, 

All floating in the ruddy light ; 
And Porphyr well he knew his name, 
Spirit of vengeance, soul of flame- 
Stood with the rest, serene and tall, 
Proud and supreme above them all, 
And stretch'd his hands towards the 

pair, 

Bless'd them, and melted into air ; 

And with him vaiiish'd all the rest : 

The flames sent forth a feebler ray, 

The fire burnt low upon the hearth, 

And the soft music died away. 



LV. 



' Give me thy hand,' with gentle voice she said ; 
'From this glad hour my soul is all thine own ; 
No more of kindred with those spirits fled 

I am a woman, bound to thee alone : 

Old age and death, and penury and woe, 

Whatever ills mankind are dooni'd to know, 

I will endure, and never once repine, 
But bless my happy lot if link'd to thine.' 

LVI. 

He took her hand :-< Now let us forth,' he said ; 

lie world is ours to choose our own abode 

And bounteous Nature hath a banquet spread 

For loving hearts that put their trust in God : 

Forth let us go ! '-He clasp'd her to his breast ;- 

Then hand in hand they left the darksome cell, 

To find some spot where Peace might be a guest 

And build a bower where Happiness might dweU. 

LVII. 

And were they happy ? Old traditions say 
The maiden perished on her bridal day; 



THE MAID OF MORA. 55 

Slain by excess of rapturous joy, she fell 

Lifeless upon the breast she loved so well. 

And what his fate ? The legend tells it not. 

Love is a light that cheers the darkest lot ; 

His love was true, and lived beyond the tomb, 

A flower of beauty in perpetual bloom ; 

With steadfast faith that sin may be forgiven, 

And love like this to be renew'd in heaven : 

Poor is the heart adversity can break, 
And loss is gain for Love and Pity's sake. 



HIGHLAND GATHERINGS 



AND 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 1845, 



PROLOGUE. 

THE HIGHLAND RAMBLE. 

' WE three are young: 1 we have a month to spare; 
Money enough ; and, whistling off our care, 
We can forsake the turmoil of the town, 
And tread the wilds making our faces brown 
With sunshine, on the peaks of some high Ben. 
Let us away, three glad, unburden'd men 
And trace some mountain-torrent to its source, 
'Mid fern and heather, juniper and gorse, 
Braving all weathers. I, with gun, one day 
Will cater for you, and go forth to slay 
The grouse in conies, where they love to dwell; 
Or sit with you upon some granite fell, 
And talk for hours of high philosophy, 
Or sun ourselves in warmth of poesy: 
And should these tire, with rod in hand, we'll go 
To streams that leap too frolicsome to flow- 
Angling for trout, and catch them by themselves, 
In fancied citadel, beneath the shelves 
Of slippery stone, o'er which the waters rush. 
Let us away. My cheeks and forehead flush 
At the mere thought; so glad would be my soul 
To be alone with Nature for one whole 
Untrammell'd month having no thought of dross, 
Or dull entanglements of gain and loss; 
Of Blackstone drear, or Bamewall's Reports, 
Or aught that smells of lawyers and the courts. 
Let us away, this pleasant summer time, 
Thou, Karl, canst muse, and shape the tuneful rhyme 
Amidst thy well-beloved hills and straths: 
Thou, Patrick, canst ascend the mountain-paths 
Thy well-fill'd flask in pocket, and rehearse 
Plain prose with me, as genial as his verse; 

1 The three companions of this Ramble were the Author, Patrick Park sculptor and 
Alexander Mackay, Barrister-at-Law and author of " The Western World." 



THE HIGHLAND RAMBLE. 57 

And wet or whet each argumental flaw 

With running waters dash'd with usquebaugh/ 

Thus Alistor, a Templar keen and young, 
Of a clear head, and of a fluent tongue, 
Subtle logician, but with earnest mind, 
And heart brimful of hope for human kind, 
Spake to his friends; and him, with voice of cheer, 
Answer'd the rhymer : ' Half one toilsome year 
I've moil'd in cities, and, like thee, I long 
To see the placid lochs, the torrents strong, 
The purple moors, the white rocks crimson-crown'd, 
And amber waters, in their depths embrown'd. 
One month of freedom from the drowsy thrall 
Of custom, would be health, joy, wisdom, all, 
To us who know each other, and delight 
To be let loose into the infinite 
Of our own fancies free from task and rule, 
And all the stiff conventions of the school 
Of the great world. Our tyrant, lean-faced Care, 
Shall not pursue us to the mountain air, 
If we play truant. Let us hence away, 
And have one month of pleasure while we may/ 

Patrick, the rough in speech, the true in heart, 
A sculptor, bom to elevate his art, 
And loving it with fervour such as burn'd 
In old Pygmalion's spirit, when he yearn'd 
For the sweet image that his hands had made, 
Shouted consent. * But whither bound 'I' he said; 
' What far-off mountain summit shall we scale ? 
What salt-sea loch, winding through many a vale, 
Shall we explore, or shall we rather glide 
Through lakes inland, unruffled by a tide 1 
Not that it matters. Thou, friend poet, know'st 
Better than we all grandeurs of the coast: 
The lochs, the straths, the hoary-headed Bens, 
The windy corries, and the wild green glens, 
And all the thunderous waterfalls that leap 
Betwixt the Atlantic and the German deep; 
And we will follow, if our guide thou'lt be, 
By Lomond, Linnhe, Lochy, or Maree; 
Through Ross-shire moors, to Hebridean isle, 
Or 'mid the lordly mountains of Argyll, 
Where'er thou wilt.' The poet made reply, 
With a keen pleasure sparkling in his eye : 
1 There is a valley, beautifully lone, 
Rude of access, to few but hunters known : 
A glen so full of gray magnificence, 
Of rock and mountain, that with love intense, 
Salvator's self, if thither he had stray'd, 
Might, rapture-struck, a dwelling-place have made 
Of some wild nook. There, filled with ecstasies, 
He might have sat, his spirit in his eyes, 



68 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

And all his mind impregnate, till he wrought 
On the dumb canvas an immortal thought. 

But not all rude and gloomy is the vale: 
Ye wild-thyme odours, floating on the gale ; 
Ye tufts of heather, blooming on the slopes; 
Ye birch-trees, waving from the rocky copes 
Of many a hill, your brows festoon'd in braids, 
Or drooping, like the locks of love-lorn maids; 
Ye dark-green pines; ye larches, fan-like spread; 
And ye, witch-scaring rowans, gleaming red; 
Ye flowers innumerous, earth-jewels fail', 
That lift your eyelids to the morning air; 
And all ye torrents, that with eloquent voice 
Call on the mountain echoes to rejoice, 
And sing, amid the wilderness, a song 
Of jubilant gladness, when the floods are strong; 
Attest the wild luxuriance of the scene 
That lengthening spreads (with many a strath between, 
And purple moorland, haunt of birds and bees) 
Around the fern-clad feet and shaggy knees 
Of mighty Nevis! monarch of the mils, 
The paramount of mountains, gemm'd with rills, 
Scantily robed, his Titan-shoulders nude, 
Lifting his head in royal solitude 
Above his peers, and grimly looking down 
Over all Britain from his misty crown!' 

Thus spake the rhymer; and between them three 
Was made a binding compact, suddenly, 
That they should waken with the morning sun, 
And journey northwards. As was said, was done. 
Borne on the wings of steam ten leagues an hour. 
They call'd it slow but bless'd its mighty power; 
And thought awhile, in pensive wonder dumb, 
Of greater triumphs in the days to come; 
When Distance, dim tradition of the Past, 
Worn-out idea, too absurd to last, 
Should bar no more the enterprise of man, 
Nor Time compress his efforts to a span; 
When docile lightnings, tether'd to a wire, 
bnould turn to messengers at his desire 
And bearing thoughts from Europe to Cathay, 
btart at the dawning, and return ere day 
And of the social evUs that should cease 
5t 8P? age of mter course and peace; 
^ hen War old tyrant bloody-faced and pale, 
should yield his breath, run over on the rail; 
Crush d by the car of Steam, no more to rise 
lo fill the world with tears and agonies. 

Short was their stay, nor turn'd they eVn aside 
To view the mighty city of the Clyde, 
The great metropolis of plodding folk, 
rail chimneys, cotton, enterprise, and smoke- 



THE HIGHLAND RAMBLE. 59 

But bound for Crinan while the morn was new, 
Bade to the lovely Firth a fond adieu. 

Gear was the sky; the sea reflected back 
The morning lustre, as they held their track 
By Rothesay, through the Kyles ; and evermore 
Some varied beauty woo'd them from the shore 
To gaze upon it. Green hills speck'd with sheep, 
Or jutting rocks that nodded o er the deep; 
And here and there, some mighty boulder-stone 
Roll'd from a precipice to stand alone 
Memento of convulsions that had wrung 
The hills to agony when earth was young. 




Displayed her teeming bosom to the siin, 
And raised her ripples to reflect the light, 
While graceful sea-gulls, plumed in snowy white, 
Follow' d the creaming furrow of the prow 
With easy pinion pleasurably slow; 
Then on the waters floated like a fleet 
Of tiny vessels, argosies complete, 
Such as brave Gulliver, deep wading, drew 
Victorious from the forts of Blefuscu. 

And sweet to these rejoicing mariners 
Were Oman's banks, o'ergrown with sunny furze, 
With berried brambles, spotted fox-glove bells, 
Like Mab's pagodas, built on pigmy fells, 
With hawthorn bushes, purple-crested heath, 
And orchis and anemone beneath, 
In plenteous beauty. Disembarking here, 
Fresh for the exercise, and full of cheer, 
They walk'd rejoicing onward, staff in hand, 
Across the isthmus ; nine good miles of land, 
And left the lingenng track-boat in the locks, 
While they went scrambling over briery rocks 
For heather sprigs, to grace their caps of blue; 
Then on again, rejoicing in the view 
Of fertile valleys dotted black with kine, 
And hills knee-deep in tamarisk and pine; 
Discoursing as they went of mica-schist, 
The old red sandstone, and the great ' Fire mist/ 
Of nebulae exploded; and the birth, 
Myriads of ages past, of a young earth, 
Still young and fresh, though venerably old; 
And of the wondrous tale hi * Cosmos ' told, 
Of heavenly architecture infinite, 
Sons, systems, groups, revolving in the light 
Of beauty eternal, and eternal law, 
Of infinite love, magnificence and awe. 

And thus the hours were rapidly consumed 



60 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



In furnace of their thought, and toil entomb'd 
In mental working; so that when the sea 
Burst on their startled vision suddenly, 
They doubted if their eyes beheld indeed 
Loch Crinan, and those seas that, like a mead 
Sprinkled with flow'rs, were studded o'er with isles; 
But soon they knew them gleaming in the smiles 
Of an unclouded sun ; and once again 
Stepping on ship-board, steam'd along the main. 

Most lovely oh, most beautiful and grand 
Were all the scenes of this romantic land ! 
Isle after isle, with gray empurpled rocks, 
Breasted in steadfast majesty the shocks, 
Stupendous, of the wild Atlantic wave; 
Many a desolate sonorous cave 
Re-echoed through its inmost vaults profound 
The mighty diapason and full sound 
Of Corryvreckan awful orator 
Preaching to lonely isles with eloquent roar: 
Many a mountain rear'd its lordly crest, 
Bronzed or empurpled by the radiant west ; 
Many a hill -girt rock indented far 
The mainland; many a high and frowning scaur 
The haunt of sea-fowl, raised its barren form, 
Furrow'd with age, defiant of the storm; 
And over all this hazy realm was spread 
A halo of sad memones of the dead: 
Of mournful love-tales; of old tragedies, 
Filling the heart with pity, and the eyes 
With tears, at bare remembrance; and old songs 
n love s endurance, love's despair, love's wrongs 
And triumph o'er all obstacles at last; 
And all the grief and passion of the past. 
Invoking these to daylight from the womb 
Of dim tradition, into fuller bloom 
Of their fresh fancy, greater ravishment 
Was it to them to ponder as they went 
J/pem each legend in its own sad place, 
lo which it lent a beauty and a grace. 

S " OTC Mu "' 

In the last beams of day. The dying 



, 

es o purpe ; and adown the west, 

Belted W ith purple-lined Vith amber-tinged 
With fiery gold-and blushing- ^ 



THE HIGHLAND RAMBLE. 61 

And gorgeous was it o'er the "Western Isles 
To gaze upon the sunset 'mid those piles 
Of mountainous clouds. They rear'd their sunny copes 
Like heavenly Alps, with cities on their slopes, 
Built amid glaciers bristling fierce with towers, 
Turrets and battlements of warlike powers 
Jagged with priestly pinnacles and spires 
And crown'd with domes, that glitter'd in the fires 
Of the slant sun. like smithied silver bright ; 
The capitals of Cloudland. When the light 
Grew paler, and the Eastern dark came down, 
And o er the mystery drew his mantle brown, 
'Twas lovely still to watch the shore and sea 
Robed in the garment of obscurity; 
To see the headlands looming through the mist, 
As if dissever'd from the earth, they wist 
Not altogether of which element 
They were a part, indissolubly blent. 

The lights of Oban glimmerM faint and far, 
And over Cruachan shone out one star 
Attendant on the moon; who, issuing forth 
Yellow and full, displayed to all the north 
Her matron face, and o'er each eastern hill 
Pour'd sleepy lustre. Beautifully still 
Lay Linnhe in her beams Linnhe whose breast 
Wafted so oft the chieftains of the west 
To bloody warfare ; Linnhe that of yore 
The galleys of the Gael to battle bore 
Against the men of haughty Innisfail; 
Linnhe of storms, where Fingal spread his sail 
To meet Cuchulliu; Linnhe of the spears; 
Blue Linnhe of the songs of other years. 
A mournful sea it was, a mournful shore; 
But yet so lovely, vestured in the hoar 
Antiquity of many memories, 
That they regretted when their watchful eyes 
Descried Fortwilliam and their journey's end, 
And great Ben Nevis, corned, strath'd, and glenn'd, 
Rising before them. Soon the sorrow pass'd, 
For they had reach'd a resting-place at last, 
Where for a season they might feed Delight 
On Beauty, and in worldly Care's despite 
Give themselves up to Nature not in part, 
But with all energy of mind and heart, 
That, ere returning to the world again. 
That little month might make them better men. 
And what they talk'd of, what they dream'd or sung, 
What tales they told, or beads of fancy strung, 
What aspirations of a better time, 
They form'd for men, behold in rhythm and rhyme. 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



THE SEA-KING'S BURIAL. 

[ ' The old Norse kings, when about to die, 
had their body laid into a ship ; the ship sent 
forth with sails set, and slow fire burning in 
it, that, once out at sea, it might blaze up in 
flame, and in such manner bury worthily the 
old hero, at once in the sky and in the ocean.' 
CAKLYLE'S Hero Worship.'} 



'MY strength is failing fast,' 

Said the Sea-king to his men ; 
' I shall never sail the seas 
Like a conqueror again. 
But while yet a drop remains 
Of the life-blood in my -veins, 
Raise, oh, raise me from the bed ; 
Put the crown upon iny- head ; 
Put my good sword in my hand ; 
And so lead me to the strand, 
Where my ship at anchor rides 

Steadily; 

If I cannot end my life 
In the bloody battle-strife, 
Let me die as I have lived, 

On the sea/ 

ii. 

They have raised King Balder up, 

Put his crown upon his head ; 
They have sheath'd his limbs in. mail, 

And the purple o'er him spread ; 
And amid the greeting rude 
Of a gathering multitude, 
Borne him slowly to the shore- 
All the energy of yore 
From his dim eyes flashing forth 
Old sea-lion of the North ; 
As he look'd upon his ship 

Riding free. 

And on his forehead pale 
Felt the cold refreshing gale, 
And heard the welcome sound 

Of the sea. 

in. 

' Hurra ! for mighty Balder ! 

As he lived, so he will die ! 
Hurra ! hurra ! for Balder !' 

Said the crowd as he went by. 
1 He will perish on the wave, 
Like the old Vikinger brave ; 



And in high Valhalla's halls 

Hold eternal festivals ; 

And drink the blood-red draught 

None but heroes ever quaff'd, 
With Odin and the spirits 

Of the free. 

In the fire, or in the wreck, 

He will die upon the deck, 
And be buried like a monarch 

Of the sea/ 

IV. 

Old Balder heard their shouts 

As they bore Mm to the beach ; 
And his fading eye grew bright 
With the eloquence of speech, 
As he heard the mighty roar 
Of the people on the shore, 
And the trumpets pealing round 
With a bold triumphal sound, 
And saw the flags afar 
Of a hundred ships of war, 
That were riding in the harbour 

Gallantly. 

And said Balder to his men 
And his pale cheek flush'd again 
' I have lived, and I will die 

On the sea/ 
v. 

They have borne him to the ship 
With a slow and solemn tread; 
They have placed him on the deck 
\V ith his crown upon his head, 
Where he sat as on a throne ; 
And have left him there alone. 
With his anchor ready weigh'o, 
And the snowy sails displayed 
To the favouring wind, once more 
Blowing freshly from the shore ; 
And have bidden him farewell 

Tenderly; 

Saying, < King of mighty men, 
We shall meet thee yet again, 
In Valhalla, with the monarchs 

Of the sea.' 

VI. 

Underneath him in the hold 
They had placed the lighted brand ; 

And the fire was burning slow 
As the vessel from the land, 

Like a stag-hound from the slips, 

Darted forth from out the ships ; 




Let me die, as I have lived, 
On the sea ! 



TJie Sea King's Burial.?. 62 



THE SEA-KING'S BURIAL. 



There was music in her sail 
As it swell'd before the gale, 
And a dashing at her prow 
As it cleft the waves below, 

And the good ship sped along, 

Scudding free. 
As on many a battle mom 
In her time she had been borne, 

To struggle, and to conquer 

On the sea. 

VII. 

And the King with sudden strength 

Started up, and paced the deck, 
With his good sword for his staff, 

And his robe around his neck ; 
Once alone, he waved his hand 
To the people on the land ; 
And with shout and joyous cry 
Once again they made reply, 
Till the loud exulting cheer 
Sounded faintly on his ear ; 
For the gale was o'er him blowing, 

Fresh and free; 

And ere yet an hour had pass'd, 
He was driven before the blast, 
And a storm was on his path, 

On the sea. 

VIII. 

And still upon the deck- 
While the storm about him rent, 
King Balder paced about 

Till his failing strength was spent. 
Then he stopp'd awhile to rest 
Cross'd his hands upon his breast, 
And look'd upward to the sky, 
With a dim but dauntless eye ; 
And heard the tall mast creak, 
And the fitful tempest speak 
Shrill and fierce, to the billows 

Rushing free ; 
And within himself he said, 
' I am coming, oh, ye dead ! 
To join you in Valhalla, 

O'er the sea. 

IX. 

' So blow, ye tempests blow, 
And my spirit shall not quail ; 

I have fought with many a foe ; 
I have weather'd many a gale ; 

And in this hour of death, 

Ere I yield my fleeting breath 



Ere the fire now burning slow 
Shall come rushing from below, 
And this worn and wasted frame 
Be devoted to the flame 

I will raise my voice in triumph, 

Singing free ;~ 
To the great All-father's home 
I am driving through the foam, 

I am sailing to Valhalla, 

C\) f 



O'er the sea. 



x. 



< So, blow, ye stormy winds 

And ye flames ascend on high ; 
In the easy, idle bed 

Let the slave and coward die ! 
But give me the driving keel, 
Clang of shields and flashing steel ; 
Or my foot on foreign ground 
With my enemies around ! 
Happy, happy, thus I'd yield, 
On tne deck or in the field, 
My last breath, shouting on 

"To Victory." 

But since this has been denied, 
They shall say that I have died 
Without flinching, like a monarch 
Of the sea.' 

XI. 

And Balder spake no more. 

And no sound escaped his lip ; 
And he look'd, yet scarcely saw 

The destruction of his ship ; 
Nor the fleet sparks mounting high, 
Nor the glare upon the sky ; 
Scarcely heard the billows dash, 
Nor the burning timber crash ; 
Scarcely felt the scorching heat 
That was gathering at his feet, 
Nor the fierce flames mounting o'er him 

Greedily. 

But the life was in him yet, 
And the courage to forget 
All his pain, in his triumph 

On the sea. 
xn. 
Once alone a cry arose, 

Half of anguish, half of pride, 
As he sprang upon his feet, 

With the flames on every side. 
* I am coming !' said the King, 
'Where the swords and bucklers 
ring 



64 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



Where the warrior lives again 
With the souls of mighty men 
Where the weary find repose, 
And the red wine ever flows ; 
I am coming, great All-Father. 

Unto tnee ! 

Unto Odin, unto Thor, 
And the strong true hearts of yore 
I am coming to Valhalla, 

O'er the sea.' 

XIII. 

Red and fierce upon the sky 

Until midnight, shone the glare, 
And the burning ship drove on 

Like a meteor of the air. 
She was driven and hurried past, 
'Mid the roaring of the blast. 
And of Balder, warrior-born, 
Naught remain'd at break of morn, 
On the charr'd and blacken'd hull, 
But some ashes and a skull ; 
And still the vessel drifted 

Heavily, 

With a pale and hazy light 
Until far into the night, 
When the storm had spent ts rage 
On the sea. 

XIV. 

Then the ocean ceased her strife 

With the wild winds lulFd to rest. 
And a full, round, placid moon 
Shed a halo on her breast ; 
And the burning ship still lay 
On the deep sea, far away ; 
From her ribs of solid oak, 
Pouring forth the flame and smoke : 
Until, burnt through all her bulk 
To the water's edge, the hulk 
Down a thousand fathoms founder'd 

Suddenly, 

With a low and sullen sound ; 
While the billows sang around 
Sad requiems for the monarch 

Of the sea. 



THE DANCE OF BALLOCHROY. 



' IF e'er you woo'd a loving maid, 
And having won her, you betrayed, 
Beware, Lord Edward, thoughtless boy, 
Nor pass the hills of Ballochroy. 

ir. 

1 For there, 'tis said, the livelong nights 
The sward is trod by elves and sprites. 
And shadowy forms of maids departed, 
And ghosts of women broken-hearted. 

in. 

1 And aye they dance a mystic round 
Upon these knolls of haunted ground, 
And sing sweet airs till break of day, 
To lure the traveller from his way. 

IV. 

'Though if your soul from guilt be cleari 
Ride boldly on ; you need not fear ; 
For pleasant sounds, and sights of joy. 
Shall hem you round on Ballochroy. 

v. 

But if you've brought a maid to death 
Bv guileful words and breach of faith. 
Shut ear and eye, nor look behind, 
Nor hear their voices on the wind. 

VI. 

They'll seek your senses to entrance 
They'll woo you to their airy dance; 
And press, with winning smiles and 

quips, 
Their melting kisses to your lips. 

VII. 

And every kiss sliall be a dart 
That through your lips shall pierce your 
heart; 

'or short the life and short the joy 
Of those who dance on Ballochroy.' 

VIII. 

Lord Edward laugh'd his words to 

scorn 

I must be wed to-morrow morn 
Your idle tale I may not hear ; 
I cannot linger from my dear.' 

IX. 

He gave the reins to his dapple gray 
And o'er the mountain rode away ; 



THE DANCE OF BALLOCHROY. 



65 



And the old man sigh'd, ' I wish him joy 
On the haunted hills of Ballochroy ! ' 



x. 



And three miles west, and three miles 

north, 

Over the moorland went he forth, 
And thought of his bonny blushing May, 
The fairest maid of Oronsay. 



XI. 

And he thought of a lady dead and 

gone 

Of Ellen, under the kirk-yard stone; 
And then he whistled a hunting-song 
To drown remembrance of a wrong. 

XII. 

But still it came. ' Alas ! ' thought he, 
' I fear she died for love of me : 
Soft be her sleep in the fresh green sod 
I trust her spirit is with her God. 

XIII. 

' But to-morrow is my bridal day 
With the bonnie Bell of Oronsay ; 
From her no fate my soul shall sever, 
So let the past be past for ever/ 

XIV. 

And still he whistled his hunting-tune, 
Till high in the heavens arose the moon, 
And had no thought but of future joy, 
Till he came to the lulls of Ballochroy. 

xv. 

And there, beneath a birken-tree, 
He found a lady fair to see, 
With eyes that might the stars eclipse, 
And a smile upon her ripe red lips. 

XVI. 

Her garments seern'd of azure bright, 
Her dainty hands were rosy white. 
And her golden hair so long and sleek, 
Fell clustering o'er each glowing cheek. 

XVII. 

He gazed upon tin's bonnie May, 
Fairer than Bell of Oronsay, 
Fairer than Ellen, dead and gone, 
Or any maid the sun shone on. 

XVIII. 

' Oh, lady dear ! the night is chill, 
The dews are damp upon the hill, 



A fitful wind begins to moan 
What brings thee here so late alone ? ' 



XIX. 



The lady blush' d, and on her tongue 
Timid the faltering answer hung 
' I have come for thee, dear lord/ she 

said, 
And on his arm her hand she laid. 



xx. 



' For I have loved thee long and well, 
More than a maiden ought to tell, 
And I sit beneath this birken-tree 
To pass one hour of love with thee.' 



XXI. 



He sprang from his steed of dapple gray, 
And at the lady's feet he lay ; 
Her lily hand in his he press'd, 
And lean'd his head upon her breast. 



XXII. 



Her long fair tresses o'er him hung, 
As round his neck her arm she flung ; 
Her beauty charm'd both touch and 

sight 
His pulse beat quicker with delight : 



XXIII. 



' Oh, lady dear ! these eyes of mine 
Never saw beauty like to thine ! 
Those loving lips, oh. let me kiss ! 
Never was rapture like to this ! ; 



XXIV. 



She smiled upon him as he spoke, 
And on his ear these accents broke; 
' Deep was the love for thee I bore 
Thou shalt be mine for evermore. 

xxv. 

' Come to my bower 'tis fair to see, 
And all prepared, dear lord, for thee ; 
Come ! ' and such smiles her face suf- 

fused, 
He had been stone had he refused. 

XXVI. 

His heart was full, his reeling brain 
Felt the sharp pleasure prick like pain ; 
And his eyes grew dim with love and joy 
On the haunted hills of Ballochroy. 

XXVII. 

On every side above below 
He heard a strain of music flow, 
5 



66 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



Dying in murmurs on his ear, 
Gentle and plaintive, soft and clear. 

XXVIII. 

Anon a bolder voice it took, 
Till all the air with music shook 
A full, inspiring, martial strain, 
Heaving like waves upon the main. 

XXIX. 

Amid the tangling flowers and grass 
The fitful echoes seem'd to pass ; 
And then it sank, and sweet and slow, 
Mingled the notes of joy and woe ; 

xxx. 

Then changed again: a jocund lay 
Rose ; mid the tree-tops far away ; 
And brisk and light, and tuned tc 

pleasure, 
Floated in air the merry measure. 

XXXI. 

And nearer as the rapture came, 
He felt its power in all his frame ; 
His pulse beat quick, his eyes grew 

bright, 
His limbs grew supple with delight. 

xxxn. 

With throbbing heart and loving look, 
The lady by the hand he took ; 
And as she smiled, her fairy feet 
Moved to the measure brisk and sweet. 

XXXIII. 

He would not, if he could, resist, 
Her beauty wrapp ; d him like a mist 
And gliding with her, kind yet coy, 
They danced the dance of Ballocliroy. 

xxxiv. 

He clasp'd her round the dainty waist, 
I heir glowing hands were interlaced 
And now they glided-now they flew 
And tnpp'd in circles o'er the dew. 

xxxv. 

And still the music sounded high 
The full free tide of harmony: 
Responsive still to every note 
Their nimble footsteps seem'd to float. 

XXXVI. 

And now they bounded, now they tripp'd, 
With panting pleasure, open-lipp'd, 






And brisker, merrier, louder still 
Sounded the music o'er the hill. 

XXXVII. 

Faint with the joy, he craved delay ; 
But no his limbs refused to stay, 
And danced impulsive to the sound, 
And traced a circle on the ground. 

XXXVIII. 

There seem'd a film before his eyes- 
He saw new shapes of beauty rise : 
They seem'd to gather at the tune 
Between him and the western moon. 

XXXIX. 

In robes of azure and of green, 
Amber and white, and purple sheen 
A troop of maidens young and fair, 
With sparkling eyes and flowing hair. 

XL. 

And as before his sight they pass'd, 
Each maid seem'd lovelier than the last, 
And smiled upon him as she came, 
With looks of love, and eyes of flame. 

XLI. 

Thensmoothingbacktheirtressesbright, 
They join'd their fingers long and white, 
And lightly shook their sparkling feet 
To the glad measure as it beat. 

XLII. 

And as the fairy round they danced, 
And now retreated, now advanced, 
"heir noiseless footsteps on the sod 
Left a green circle where they trod. 

XLin. 

dke dragon-flies upon a stream, 
)r motes upon a slanting beam, 
They parted met retired entwined, 
Their loose robes waving in the wind. 

XLIV. 

Transparent as the network light 
Spun by the gossamer at night, 
Ihrough every fold each rounded limb 
bnone warm and beautiful, but dim. 

XLV. 

Dazzled and reeling with delight, 
He turn d away his aching si-ht, 
Ihen fell exhausted in a swoon, 
In the full radiance of the moon, 



THE DANCE OF BALLOCHROY. 



G7 



XLVI. 

Not long endured his soul's eclipse ; 
He felt warm kisses ou his lips, 
And heard a voice in accents clear 
Breathe a soft whisper in his ear, 

XLVII. 
* Rise, ray dear lord ! shake off this 

trance, 

And join my sisters in their dance; 
'Tis all to give thee joy they play ; 
My hand shall guide thee come away ! ' 

XL VIII. 

He rose; her bright eyes brighter 

shone, 

Raining kind looks to cheer him on ; 
While the celestial music still 
Roll'd its glad echoes o'er the hill. 

XLIX. 

And once again the dance they twined- 
They seem'd like feathers on the wind 
Their hands they waved, their feet they 

twirl'd 
They ran, they leap'd, they trippM, they 

whiiiU 

L. 

But as he danced his eyes grew dim, 
His blood ran thick through every limb; 
And every face, so fair and bright, 
Appeared distorted to his sight. 

LI. 

The lustre of their eyes was gone, 
Their cheeks grew wrinkled, pale, and 

wan; 
Their fair plump arms grew shrivell'd 

skin, 
Their voices hoarse, and sharp, and thin. 

LII. 

Bloodshot and blear, and hollow-eyed, 
Each raised her finger to deride ; 
And each, more hideous than the last, 
Chatter'd and jabber'd as she pass'd. 

LIII. 

And with discordant yell and shout, 
They wheel'd in frantic droves about, 
And gibing, in his visage, scowl'd, 
And moan'd, and shriek'd, and laugh'd, 
and howl'd. 



LIV. 

Again he fell in speechless dread ; 
And then came one with drooping head, 
And looks all pity and dismay, 
And gazed upon him where he lay. ,.\ 

LV. 

Her glancing eyes were black as jet, 
Her fair pale cheeks with tears were wet ; 
And beauty, modesty, and grace 
Strove for the mastery on her face. 

LVI. 

He knew her well ; and, as she wept, 
A cold, cold shudder o'er him crept : 
7 Twas Ellen's self ! ah, well he knew 
That face so fair that heart so true ! 

LVII. 

He felt her tear-drops fall and flow, 
But they were chill as melted snow ; 
Then looking on her face, he sigh'd, 
Felt her cold kiss, and shivering died ! 

LVIII. 

Next vday, with many an anxious fear, 
His father sought him far and near ; 
And his sad mother, old and gray, 
Wept with the bride of Oronsay. 

LIX. 

They found his body on the knoll, 
And pray'd for mercy on his soul ; 
And his 'bride a widow's weeds put on, 
And mourn'd Lord Edward, dead and 
gone. 

LX. 

If you have brought a maid to death 
By guileful words and breach of faith 
In weal or woe, in grief or joy, 
Beware the hills of Ballochroy ! 



ST COLUMBA ; OR THE COUNT- 
ING OF THE ISLES. 

[The following legend, with some slight vari- 
ation, is current in the Hebrides. One version 
states that the Saint takes his stand upon the 
walls of the ruined cathedral of lona, and 
counts the isles ; but makes no mention of the 
ghostly company introduced into the ballad.] 

I. 

HUSII'D were the winds, and not a breath 
Disturb'd the peaceful sea, 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



And even to Staffa's echoing caves 
The large, uneasy, western waves 

Came beating quietly ; 
Starless and moonless was the night, 

And on the waters lay, 
Like silence palpable to sight, 

Thick wreaths of vapour gray. 

ii. 

Far in the west, 'mid rain and mist, 

Upon the deep afloat, 
Without an oar, without a sail, 

Came down a little boat : 
Amid the mazes of the isles 

By hands unseen propell'd, 
By frowning scaur, through whirlpool 

roar, 

_Its noiseless way it held; 
Like a shadow gliding, dark and slow, 
Unwitting how the winds might blow. 

in. 
And at the stern, with downcast eyes, 

And hands upon his breast, 
There sat the figure of a man, 

Serene, like one possess'd 
With peaceful thoughts, that quite ab- 
sorb'd 

All faculties combined, 
So that his sight, to left nor right, 

Ne'er wander'd from his mind, 
Nor his ear heard the murmur low 
Of waters cleaving at the prow. 

IV. 

Down through the seas, where Lewis 
afar 

The dim horizon streaks ; 
By Skye, where lordly Guillens rear 

Their high fantastic peaks ; 
By Ronan and her sister isle ; 

By Coll and green Tiree ; 
And by the giant crags of Mull 

That frown upon the sea ; 
By Ulva's isle and Fingal's cave, 
Palace and wonder of the wave ; 

v. 



Still on still on till morning dawn 
The boat pursued its way : 

m l on ~~ sti11 on ~ tm ni nt > slow-drawn 
Inrough sleet and vapour gray, 
It held its course amid the Isles 
Nor stopp'd by night or day ; 



And still the figure, heeding nought, 
Sat silent, gather'd in his thought. 

VI. 

Behind the boat, the waters shone 

With phosphorescent light- 
Slow from the keel, like glancing steel, 

The waves fell off, all night. 
At length, far looming through the mist 

That now from heaven upclear'd, 
lona, sepulchre of kings, 

The holy isle, appear'd 
The Culdee's bower, the place of graves, 
The fair green ' island of the waves.' 

VII. 

The moon, new risen, look'd forth from 
heaven, 

And purpled every height, 
And waves upheaved their silvery sides, 

Rejoicing in the light 
And mountain tops, with radiance 
touch'd, 

Look'd placidly below, 
As onwards to lona's isle 

The boat went gliding slow ; 
And the lone traveller stepp'd on shore, 
Leaning upon the staff he bore. 

vm. 

A long loose mantle wrapp'd his limbs, 

A cowl conceal'd his head; 
And meek yet lordly was his look, 

And solemn was his tread. 
And lo to meet him on the beach, 

A pale and shadowy baud, 
Barefoot, bareheaded, holding each 

A taper in his hand, 
3ame in long line from Oran's shrine. 
And gather'd on the strand. 

IX. 

No word was said, no sign was made, 

Spectres all pale and wan, 
With earthward looks 'mid silence 
deep 

Their noiseless march began. 
And slow they follow'd where he led ; 

And, moved as by a blast, 
The doors of St Columba's kirk 

Flew open as they pass'd, 
And show'd the lights on roof and wall 
Lit up for solemn festival. 



ST COLUMBA. 



X. 

And choral voices sweet and clear, 

Drawn out in cadence long, 
Re-echoed through the vaulted aisles 

Attuned to holy song ; 
And music like a flowing tide 

From organ-pipes unseen, 
Pour'd forth a full majestic strain 

Each solemn pause between ; 
And myrrh and incense fill'd the air, 
And shadowy lips were moved in prayer. 

XI. 

Each damp and moss-grown sepulchre, 
Each vault and charnel cold, 

Each grassy mound let forth its dead, 

And from th' enfettering mould 

Dim shadows of departed kings, 
Sceptred and robed and crown'd, 

And mitred bishops, meek and pale, 
And abbots cowl'd and gown'd, 

Came thronging in the moonlight gray 

In long impalpable array. 

XII. 

And fierce Vikinger, swathed in mail, 

Pallid and gaunt, stood forth, 
Old pirates, that to spoil the land 

Had issued from the North. 
Lords of the Isles, and Thanes, and 
Jarls, 

Barons and Marmors grim, 
With helm on head and glaive in hand, 

In rusty armour dim, 
Responsive to some powerful call 
Gather'd obedient, one and all. 

XIII. 

And now the choral voices hush'd, 

And ceased the organ tone ; 
As to the altar-steps, high raised, 

Sad, silent, and alone, 
The traveller pass'd. To him all eyes 

Turn'd reverent as he trod, 
And whispering voices, each to each, 

Proclaim'd the man of God 
Columba, in his ancient place, 
Radiant with glory and with grace. 

XIV. 

Back fell his cowl his mantle dropp'd, 

And in a stream of light, 
A halo round his aged head, 

And robed in dazzling white 



The saint with smiles of heavenly love 

Stretch' d forth his hands to pray, 
And kings and thanes, and monks and 
jarls, 

Knelt down in their array, 
Silent, with pallid lips compress'd, 
And hands cross'd humbly on their 
breast. 

xv. 
He craved a blessing on the Isles, 

And named them one by one 
Fair western isles that love the glow 

Of the departing sun. 
From Arran looming in the south, 

To northern Orcades, 
Then to lona back again, 

Through all those perilous seas, 
Three nights and days the saint had 
sail'd, 

To count the Hebrides. 

XVI. 

He loved them for lona's sake, 

The isle of prayer and praise, 
Where Truth and Knowledge found a 
home 

When fallen on evil days. 
And now he bless'd them each and all, 

And pray'd that evermore, 
Plenty and peace, and Christian love, 

Might smile on every shore, 
And that their mountain-glens might be 
The abiding-places of the free. 

XVII. 

Then, as he ceased, Kings, Abbots, 

And all the shadowy train. 
Rose from their knees, and choral songs 

Re-echoed loud again 
And then were hush'd the lights 
burn'd dim. 

And ere the dawn of day, 
The saint and all the ghostly choir 

Dissolved in mist away : 
Aerial voices sounding still 
Sweet harmonies from Duni's hill. 

XVIII. 

And every year Columba makes, 
While yet the summer smiles, 

Alone, within his spectral boat, 
The circuit of the isles ; 



70 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



And monks and abbots, thanes and kings, 
From vault and charnel start, 

Disbursed, in the rite to bear 
Their dim, allotted part, 

And crave, upon their bended knees, 

A blessing on the Hebrides. 



THE 'DREAM,' BY BEAULY, 
ROSS-SHIRE. 

[The high banks of the Beauly, near Kilmo- 
fack, in Ross-shire, are covered with birch- 
trees, ascending to a great height, with 
occasionally rocks, fir-plantations, and moun- 
tain-paths to vary the scene ; and the river 
foaming and breaking into numerous falls 
below. This magnificent tract, which extends 
about three miles, is termed ' the Dream,' a 
name that seems to harmonize with the wild 
beauty of the landscape. The true orthogra- 
phy, however, is the Druim, signifying, in the 
Gaelic language, a ridfie.The Highland Note- 
book, by R. CARRUTHERS.] 

I. 

IN Lomond's isles the rowans grow, 

In sweet Glenn ant the lintocks tarry, 
And grand is Cruachan by Loch Awe, 

And bonny are the birks of Garry. 
Beloved spots ! yet dearer far, 

And cherish'd in my heart more truly, 
Are sweet Kilmorack's lingering falls, 
The lovely 'Dream' and banks of 
Beauly. 

ii. 
The joyous river runs its course, 

Now dark and deep, now clear and 

shallow ; 
And high on either side the rocks 

Rise, crown'd with mosses green and 

yellow ; 
And birks, the ' damsels of the wood,' 

So slim and delicately shaded, 
Stand in the clefts, and look below 

With graceful forms and tresses 
braided. 

in. 
And rowans flourish on the heights 

With scarlet bunches thickly studded 
And brambles, heavy-laden, trail 

Their luscious berries purple-blooded- 
And on the bosom of the hills, 

Wooing the bees, the modest heather 
Waves to the wind its hardy bells, 

And blossoms in the wildest weather. 



IV. 

Oh that I might, 'mid scenes like this, 

In the fresh noon of life and feeling, 
Build up a bower where I might dwell, 

All nature to my soul revealing. 
Far from the bustling crowds that swarm 

; Mid the great city's endless riot, 
How happily my days would flow 

In converse with these woodlands 
quiet ! 

v. 
Unmindful of the hollow pomp 

And festering coronet of splendour- 
Heedless of Fame, and all the din 

Of shouting voices that attend her ; 
With leisure, when my fancy led, 

To roam the glen, or forest thorough, 
To climb the mountain-top, and trace 

The torrent upward, by its furrow. 

VI. 

To let the winds in stormy nights 

Blow in niy hair ; to tread the heather 
In tempest and in calm alike, 

Braving, plaid-bound, the roughest 

weather; 
To hold communion night and day 

With Nature ; to her bosom turning 
Aye for relief ; and from her face 

New hope, new joy, new wisdom learn- 
ing. 

VII, 

Oh for a bower where I might dwell 

In this contemplative seclusion, 
With wealth sufficient for the wants 

Of temperate Nature not profusion ! 
A cottage on the green hill-side, 

Sacred to friendship, love, and duty 
A garden fair, with trees for fruit, 

And some for shadow and for beauty ! 

VIII. 

Here, not unmindful of my kind, 
Flying the world, but never scorn- 

My voice, to solemn lay attuned, 
Or cheerful as the lark's at morning, 

Might reach the crowds that I had left, 
And bear my thoughts to many a 
dwelling, 

Where human hearts might throb to hear 
The tale I would delight in telling. 



THE i DREAM; BY BEAU LY, ROSS-SHIRE. 



71 



IX. 

The tale, or song, whose burden still, 

Serene or glad, should preach to sor- 
row, 
That sunshine follows after rain, 

And after darkest night the morrow; 
That those who strive with evil days, 

If their own strength they would but 

measure, 
Might turn endurance into joy, 

And outward woe to inward pleasure ; 

x. 

That earth, though fill'd with care and 

grief, 
Has joy for those who wisely seek it ; 



That if the heart be truly taught, 
It may defy the world to break it ; 

That Love and Virtue are not names, 
But things, to those who prize them 
given; 

And that the more we love our kind, 
The more our bliss in earth and heaven. 



But fare thee well, sweet Beauly stream! 

Upon thy banks I may not linger; 
My task is set, my daily toil 

Beckons me hence with ruthless finger. 
Farewell, and when in cities pent, 

I'll cherish thy remembrance duly, 
And long for autumn days again, 

To lead my footsteps back to Beauly. 



THE INVASION OF SCOTLAND BY THE NORSEMEN. 



HACO, king of Norway, call'd his men of might, 

Sea-captains and Vikinger his veterans m~fight ; 

And set sail for Scotland's coast 

With a well-apparell'd host, 

Fully twenty thousand strong 

When the summer days grew long 

In the fairest fleet that ever the North Sea billows bore, 

To harry it, and pillage it, and hold it evermore. 

ii. 

Mile on mile extended, o'er the ocean blue, 

SaiTd the ships of battle, white and fair to view 

Running races on the sea^ 

With their streamers waving free, 

From their saucy bows all day 

Dashing up the scornful spray, 

And leaving far behind them, in the darkness of the night, 

UnborroVd from the firmament, long tracks of liquid light. 

in. 

Past the isles of Shetland lay the monarch's path, 

Round the isles of Orkney and the Cape of Wrath, 

'Mid the Islands of the West 

That obey'd his high behest 

The Lewis, and Uist, and Skye, 

And the countless isles that tie 

Between the wide Atlantic and Albyn's mountains brown, 

And paid him homage duly, and fealty to his crown. 



72 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



IV. 

Music and rejoicing follow'd on their way, 

Drinking and carousing nightly till the day. 

Every sailor in the fleet 

Felt his heart with pleasure beat, 

Every soldier in the ships 

Had a smile upon his lips, 

As he drank, and saw, in fancy, reeking sword and flaming brand, 

And the rapine, and the violence, and the carnage of the land. 

v. 

Not amid the mountains of the rugged North 

Would the mighty Haco send his legions forth ; 

Not by highland loch or glen 

Would he' land his eager men ; 

Not on banks of moorland stream 

Were their thirsty swords to gleam ; 

But further to the southward, from the rocks of bare Argyll 

To the sloping hills of Renfrew, and the grassy meads of Kyle. 

VI. 

In the vales of Carrick, smiling by the sea, 
In the woods of Lennox, in the Lothians three, 
There was fatness all the year- 
There were sheep and fallow-deer 
There was mead to fill the horn- 
There were kye and there was com, 

There was food for hungry Norsemen, witn spoil to last them long, 
And lordly towers to revel in, with music and with song. 

VII. 

Like scarts upon the whig, by the hope of plunder led, 

Pass'd the ships of Haco, with sails like pinions spread. 

But the tidings went before 

To the inland, from the shore; 

And from crag to mountain crag, 

At the terror of his flag, 

Arose a cry of warning, and a voice of loud alarm, 

That call'd the startled multitudes to gather and to arm. 

VIII. 

Every mountain-summit had its beal-fire bright ; 

All Argyll, ere sunset, crown'd its hills with light, 

And from Morven to Cantyre 

Lit the chain of signal-fire ; 

From Cantyre to Cowal's coast 

Blazed a warning of the host 

Of savage Norse invaders that to spoil and harry came, 

With their lust and with their hunger with the sword and with the flame. 

IX. 

Glen call'd out to mountain mount to moorland brown, 
Village call'd to village, town gave voice to town: 



THE INVASION OF THE NORSEMEN. 73 

And the bells in every tower 

Rang the tocsin hour by hour 

Until old Dunedin heard, 

And the Lothians three were stirr'd, 

And sent their yeomen westward to struggle hand to hand 

For then- wives and for their children, for their home and native land. 



Wives had no endearment for a laggard lord ; 

Maidens had no love-looks and no kindly word 

For the lover who was slow 

To march out against the foe. 

Even maids themselves put on 

Coat of mail and habergeon ; 

Threw the snood off for the helmet, left the distaff for the spear, 

To die for sake of Scotland, with a sire or lover dear. 

xr. 

Young King Alexander march'd his legions forth, 
From eastward to the westward, from southward to the north : 
High his flashing falchion gleam'd, 
In his blue eye valour beam'd, 
In his heart high courage glow'd, 
As in pride of youth he rode 

With the flower of Scotland's people, to defend her sacred soil, 
And repel the Norse marauders that came down for blood and spoil. 

XII. 

With him rode the Comyn, grown in battles gray, 

With a thousand bowmen ready for the fray, 

With a tongue to give command, 

And a rough untiring hand ; 

With a cheek in combat scarr'd, 

And a soul to pity hard ; 

When he drew his sword for battle, and flung away the sheath,. 

It was death to him who struggled with the Comyu of Monteith. 

XIII. 

And the Bishop of St Andrew's, a priest but in his name, 

In his heart a soldier, with all his warriors came. 

And the stalwart Earl of Fite 

Led his vassals to the strife 

Full a thousand fighting-men, 

Strong of hand and sharp of ken, 

And ready each to' die at the bidding of his lord; 

But readier still for Scotland to draw the avenging sword. 

XIV. 

From his northern mountains and his lochs afar 
March'd the Earl of Caithness, ready aye for war, 
With his pibroch sounding shrill 
To his clansmen of the hill ; 
And the Earl of March, new wed, 
Left his happy bridal bed 



74 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



At the first war-cry of danger that broke upon his ears. 
And join'd King Alexander, with twice a thousand spears. 



xv, 



Thirsting for the conquest, eager for the fray, 
Haco sail'd by Arran at" the dawn of day ; 
But as up the Firth of Clyde 
He canie proudly with the tide. 
Rose a storm upon the deep, 

while the sun look'd pale aau. wau, 

Through the clouds and driving vapours as the tempest nurriec on. 

XVI. 

To the ship of Haco came his stanchest men- 
Holder, Sweno, Ratho, Hingst, and Inmsfeu, 
Inninsule, and Loke and Harr, 
Each a chieftain fierce in war ; 
In the foray, hand to hand, 
On the sea or on the land; 

Loving fighting more than counsel, blazing torch than morning shine; 
The foremost in the battle, and the hindmost at the wine. 

XVII. 

Short was Haco's counsel, and the signal flew 
From captain on to captain, from crew again to crew, 
That by Largs, ere noon of day, 
They should land within the bay, 
And through all the ships there ran 
A rejoicing, man with man, 

That the horn- had come at last, when the sword should leave its sheath, 
And the cloth-yard shaft its quiver for the revelry of death. 

XVIII. 

Scotland's king was ready Scotland's patriot men, 

Marshall'd round their monarch from mountain, strath, and glen, 

And from every height around 

Seem'd to issue from the ground. 

Thirty thousand men that day 

Met the Norsemen in the bay, 

And fought, but not for pillage, nor for glory in the strife, 

But for God and for their country for their freedom and their life. 



Loud the shock resounded on the battle-field, 
Clink of sword and buckler, clang of spear and shield ; 
, "Whirr of arrows in the blast, 
On their errand flying fast ; 
And a shouting loud and high, 
And a shrill continuous cry, 

From either side arising, as th' impetuous legions met, 
And the green fresh sward was trodden deep, and dank, and gory-wet. 



THE INVASION OF THE NORSEMEN. 76 



xx. 

Loud the voice of Haco sounded 'mid the fray, 
Alexanders louder cheer'd the Scots that day ; 
And the kings press'd on to meet, 
Through the arrows thick as sleet, 
Through the living and the dead, 
Holding high the dauntless head- 
To fight in single combat, and to struggle hand to hand, 
For the glory of the battle and the mastery of the laud. 

XXI. 

And the fierce Earl Comyn sought the Norseman Harr; 

The Bishop singled Ratho from the ranks of war; 

And the Earls of March and Fife, 

In the sharp-contested strife, 

Fought with Irminsule and Loke, 

Thrust for thrust, and stroke for stroke; 

And the Earl of Caithness drove the haughty Innisfen 

Back again into the ocean with a hundred of his men. 

XXII. 

Ilarr fell deadly wounded by the Comyn's blade; 

Ratho fied to seaward, faint and sore dismayed; 

While Loke, with mortal wound, 

Fell exhausted on the ground, 

And Hingst sank down to rest 

With the death-shaft in his breast ; 

When a sudden panic seized on the whole Norwegian foe, 

And they tied like flying dust, when the Norland tempests blow. 

XXIII. 

Down upon them swooping in their sudden rout, 
Came King Alexander with exulting shout 
Crying, * Strike for Scotland's sake, 
And a bloody vengeance take 
For the insult borne too long- 
For the centuries of wrong, 

For the murder and the ravage they have done within our lauds ; 
Down upon them, Scottish hearts ! Strike, and spare not, Scottish hands !' 



Fighting, flying, struggling with his scatterM host 

Haco saw, despairing, that the day was lost. 

Of his twenty thousand men 

Not a third were left him then, 

The fearful tale to tell 

Of the slaughter that befell; 

And Haco, iron-hearted, who had never wept before, 

With his hands his pale face cover'd, and sobb'd upon the shore. 



Flying their pursuers, faint, with pallid lips, 
Haco and Ins captains stegger'd to their ships; 



76 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

And ere nightfall, many a one, 

That had sail'd when day begun 

As if life were in her sides 

To defy the winds and tides, 

Was driven before the tempest, her tall mast snapp'd in twain, 

A helpless wreck on Arran, ne'er to sail the seas again. 

XXVI. 

Through the Kyles, storm-batter'd, Haco held his way, 

By Cantyre and Islay on to Colonsay: 

And when dawn'd the morning light 

Not a vessel was in sight, 

But his own ship scudding by 

On the gloomy shore of Skye, 

Dismantled 'mid the hurricane that still around him blew, 

With danger all around him and a spirit-broken crew. 

XXVII. 

Thus he sail'd to Orkney; but by night nor day, 

To his men around him, did one word betray 

All the augiiish of his heart 

Though at times a sudden start, 

And a short uneasy pace, 

And the flushing of his face, 

ShoVd the grief and rage within him, as he mourn'd with silent lips 

For his hope of conquest lost, for his sailors and his ships. 

XXVIII. 

In the bay of Kirkwall. shelter'cl from the gale, 

His sad crew dropp'd their anchor and fiufd the tatter'd sail 

And the King was led on shore, 

Weak, and faint, and spirit-sore, 

Seeing heeding knowing nought 

But his own despairing thought 

A thought of bitter shame, that he had not died that day, 

With his face towards the mountains, in the thickest of the fray. 

XXIX. 

To his couch they led him, once so bold and strong, 

And they watch'd beside him tenderly and long ; 

But all human care was vain 

To relieve him of his pain : 

So the mighty Haco died 

In his sorrow and his pride, 

And they buried him in Orkney ; and Norsemen never more 

Set sail to harry Scotland, or plunder on her shore. 



THE EVE OF FLODDEN. 



THE EVE OF FLODDEN. 

['In the church of Linlithgow is shown the 
aisle where an apparition burst upon the sight 
of James I V. ,to warn him against the disastrous 
expedition, and which, as Lindsay of Pitscottie 
relates, as soon as it had delivered its message, 
" vanished like a blink of the sun, or a whip 
of the whirlwind." When the invading army 
was encamped upon the Boroughmuir num- 
berless midnight apparitions did squeak and 
gibber upon the streets of Edinburgh, threat- 
ening woe to the kingdom, and there was a 
spectral procession of heralds, who advanced 
to the Cross, and summoned the king and a 
long list of nobility to their final doom.'] 

I. 

WHO are these so dim and wan, 
Haggard, gaunt, and woe-begone ! 
Who in suits of silvery mail 
Wander in the moonlight pale, 
Through Dunedin's narrow street, 

Sad and slow, 
And with mournful voice repeat, 

Singing low 

' Dim the night, but dark the morrow 
Long shall last the coming sorrow, 

Woe to Scotland, woe ! ' 

ii. 

Helm on head and sword in hand, 
Whence this melancholy band 1 
Even the banner that they bear 
Droops dejected on the air, 
As they walk with noiseless tread 

To and fro, 
And the sleeper from his bed 

Rises slow, 
Listening to that chant of sorrow 

* Dim the night, but dark the morrow 

Woe to Scotland, woe!' 

in. 

What they are, and their intent 
Whence they come, and whither bent 
If they come from kirkyard cold, 
Or are men of mortal mould, 
No one knows; but all night long, 

As they go, 
There is heard a doleful song, 

Clear, but low, 

* Deep the grief that's now beginning, 
Scotland's loss is England's winning 

Woe to Scotland, woe ! ' 



IV. 

Never yet Dunedin's street 
Saw such ghastly warriors meet. 
Now upon the Cross they stay; 
And a radiance clear as day, 
When the day is dim and chill, 

Seems to glow 
All around; and from the hill 

Overflow 

Gable, tower, and steeple-crosses, 
And the lonely wynds and closes: 

'Woe to Scotland, woe! 

v. 

One steps forward from the rest. 
Stately, gaunt, and richly dress d; 
And they form a circle round, 
Sadly looking to the ground; 
And a summons loud and shrill 

Sounds below. 
Downwards from the Calton Hill 

Passing slow; 

Then a trumpet-call to rally 
Echoes over mount and valley 

'Woe to Scotland, woe! 

VI. 

Then the ling'ring echoes die 
Faint and fainter on the sky, 
And the spokesman of the band 
Raises high his mail'cl right hand, 
And exclaims with earnest voice, 

Speaking slow : 
'Long will Scotland's foes rejoice : 

Hearts shall glow 
At recital of our story, 
And of Scotland's faded glory. 

Woe to Scotland, woe ! 

VII. 

' Nought shall bravery avail ; 
Dust before the wild March gale 
Flies not faster than shall fly 
Scotland's proudest chivalry, 
Royal Stuart, when thy might 

Stricken low, 
Shall be scatter'd in the fight 

By the foe, 

And thy fairest ranks be trodden 
On the bloody field of Flodden. 

Woe to Scotland, woe ! 

VIII. 

' Crawford, Huntley, and Montrose ! 
Loud your shrill war-trumpet blows; 



LEGENDS OF TEE ISLES. 



Home and Bothwell ! high in air 
Flaunt your banners free and fair; 
Lennox ! well your stalwart men 

Wield the bow; 
Fierce and fleet from hill and glen 

On the foe, 

From wild Cowal to the Grampians, 
Rush, Argyll ! your stoutest cham 
pions; 

Woe to Scotland, woe ! 

IX. 

'But in vain shall they unite; 
And in vain their swords shall smite; 
And in vain their chiefs shall lead ; 
Vainly, vainly shall they bleed ; 
England's hosts shall smite them down 

At a blow, 
And our country's ancient crown 

.Be laid low; 

And for warriors death-cold sleeping 
Long shall last the wail and weeping 

Woe to Scotland, woe!' 

x. 

Thus he speaks, and glides away, 
Melting in the moonlight gray : 
And the pale knights follow on 
Through the darkness, and are gone. 
But all night is heard the wail 

Rising slow, 
As the pauses of the gale 

Come and go, 

'Dim the night and dark the morrow ; 
Long shall last the coming sorrow 

Woe to Scotland, woe!' 



THE KELPIE OF CORRIE- 
VRECKAN. 

[This story is a common one in the Western 
Isles, and among all the northern nations of 
Europe. Some of the incidents bear a re- 
semblance to the Danish ballad of ' The Wild 
Waterman,' a translation of which was made 
into German, by Goethe.] 



HE mounted his steed of the water clear, 
And sat on his saddle of sea- weed sere ; 
He held his bridle of strings of pearl, 
Dug out of the depths where the sea- 
snakes curl. 



IT. 



He put on his vest of the whirlpool 

froth, 

Soft and dainty as velvet cloth, 
And donn'd his mantle of sand so white, 
Andgrasp'd his sword of the coral bright. 



in. 



And away he gallop'd, a horseman free, 
Spurring his steed through the stormy 

sea, 
Clearing the billows with bound and 

leap 
Away, away, o'er the foaming deep ! 



IV. 



By Scarba's rock, by Lunga's shore, 
By Garveloch isles where the breakers 



roar, 

With his horse's hoofs he dash'd the 
spray, 

on to Loch Buy, away, away ! 

v. 

On to Loch Buy all day he rode, 
And reach'd the shore as sunset glow'd, 
And stopp'd to hear the sounds of joy 
That rose from the hills and glens of 
Moy. 

VI. 

The morrow was May, and on the green 
They'd lit the fire of Beltan E'en, 
And danced around, and piled it high 
With peat and heather and pine-logs 
diy. 

VII. 

A piper play'd a lightsome reel, 
And timed the dance with toe and heel ; 
While wives look'd on, as lad and lass 
Trod it merrily o'er the grass. 

VIII. 

And Jessie (fickle and fair was she) 
Sat with Evan beneath a tree, 
And smiled with mingled love and pride, 
A.nd half agreed to be his bride. 

IX. 

The Kelpie gallop'd o'er the green 
3e seenrd a knight of noble mien, 
And old and young stood up to see, 
And wondefd who the knight could be. 



THE KELPIE OF CORRIEVRECKAN. 



His flowing locks were auburn bright, 
His cheeks were ruddy, liis eyes flash'd 

light ; 
And as he sprang from his good gray 

steed, 
He look'd a gallant youth indeed. 



XI. 



And Jessie's fickle heart beat high, ^ 
As she caught the stranger's glancing 

And when he smiled, ' Ah well/ thought 

she, 
' I wish this knight came courting me ! ' 



XII. 

He took two steps towards her seat 
'Wilt thou be mine, maiden sweet?' 
He took her lily-white hand, and sigh'd, 
f Maiden, maiden, be my bride]' 

XIII. 

And Jessie blush'd, and whisper'd soft 
'Meet me to-night when the moon's 

aloft ; 
I've dream'd, fair knight, long time of 

thee 
I thought thou earnest courting me. 7 

XIV. 

When the moon her yellow horn dis- 



Alone to the trysting went the maid ; 
When all the stars were shining bright, 
Alone to the trysting went the knight. 



xv. 



' I have loved thee long, I have loved 

thee well, 

Maiden, oh more than words can tell ! 
Maiden, thine eyes like diamonds shine ; 
Maiden, maiden, be thou mine ! } 

XVI. 

' Fair sir, thy suit I'll ne'er deny- 
Though poor my lot, my hopes are high ; 
I scorn a lover of low degree- 
None but a knight shall marry me.' 

XVII. 

He took her by the hand so white. 
And gave her a ring of the gold so 
bright; 



'Maiden, whose eyes like diamonds 

shine 
Maiden, maiden, now thou'rt mine ! ' 



XVIII. 

He lifted her up on his steed of gray, 
And they rode till morning away, away 
Over the mountain and over tne moor, 
And over the rocks, to the dark sea- 
shore. 

XIX. 

' We have ridden east, we have ridden 

west 
I'm weary, fair knight, and I fain would 

rest. 

Say, is thy dwelling beyond the sea 1 
Hast thou a good ship waiting for me?' 

xx. 

' 1 have no dwelling beyond the sea, 
I have no good ship waiting for thee : 
Thou shalt sleep with me on a couch of 

foam, 
And the depths of the ocean shall be 

thy home. 

XXI. 

The gray steed plunged in the billows 

clear, 
And the maiden's shrieks were sad to 

hear. 
'Maiden, whose eyes like diamonds 

shine 
Maiden, maiden, now thou'rt mine ! 

XXII. 

Loud the cold sea-blast did blow, 

As they sank 'mid the angry waves 

below 
Down to the rocks where the serpents 

creep, 
Twice five hundred fathoms deep. 

XXIII. 

At morn a fisherman sailing by 
Saw her pale corse floating high : 
He knew the maid by her yellow hair 
And her lily skin so soft and fair. 

XXIV. 

Under a rock on Scarba's shore, 
Where the wild winds sigh and the 

breakers roar, 
They dug her a grave by the water 

clear, 
Among the sea-weed salt and sere. 



80 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



XXV. XXVI. 



And every year, at Beltan E'en, 
The Kelpie gallops across the green, ' 
On a steed as fleet as the wintry wind, 
With Jessie's mournful ghost behind. 



I warn you, maids, whoever you be, 
Beware of pride and vanity ; 
And ere on change of love you reckon 
Beware the Kelpie of Corrievreckan. 



LORD NITHSD ALE'S DREAM IN THE TOWER OF LONDON. 

[In the notes to Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song will be found the full 
particulars of Lord Nithsdale's escape narrated in the simple and touching Lintfuape of Wini- 
fred Lady Nithsdale, in a letter to her sister.] 

I. 

' FAREWELL to thee, Winifred, dearest and best ! 

Farewell to thee, wife of a courage so high ! 
Come hither, and nestle again in my breast, 

Come hither, and kiss me again ere I die ! 
And when I am laid bleeding and low in the dust, 

And yield my last breath at a tyrant's decree, 
Look up be resigu'd and the God of the just 

Will shelter thy fatherless children and thee/ 

ii. 

She wept on his breast, but, ashamed of her fears, 

She dash'd off the drops that ran warm down her cheek 
1 Be sorrow for those who have leisure for tears, 

Oh, pardon thy wife, that her soul was so weak ! 
There is hope for us still, and I will not despair, 

Though cowards and traitors exult at thy fate ; 
I'll show the oppressors what woman can dare 

I'll show them that love can be stronger than hate. 

in. 




% ~ ~ 7 >v*j ^.J.x j*. VJ.J.J JVlllMj 

bole ray in my darkness sole joy in my pain ' 
She has gone ! He has heard the last sound of her tread- 
He has caught the last glimpse of her robes at the door- 
^r-if $ me ! aud the J ^ that her presence had shed, 
Will cheer the sad heart of Lord Nithsdale no more. 

IV. 

The prisoner pray'd in his dungeon alone. 
And thought of the morn and its dreadful array 

Then rested his head on his pillar of stone, 
And slumber'd an hour ere the dawning of day. 



LORD N1THSDAL&S DREAM. 81 

Oh, balm of the weary ! oh, soother of pain ! 

That still to the sad givest pity and dole, 
How gently, Sleep, lay thy wings on his brain ! 

Hew sweet were thy dreams to Ms desolate soul ! 



Once more on his green native braes of the Nith 

He pluck'd the wild breckan, a frolicsome boy ; 
lie sported his limbs in the waves of the frith ; 

He trod the green heather in gladness and joy ; 
On his gallant gray steed to the hunting he rode 

In his bonnet a plume, on his bosom a star 
And chased the red-deer to its mountain abode, 

And track'd the wild roe to its covert afar. 

VI. 

The vision has changed ; in a midsummer night 

He roam'd with his Winifred blooming and young ; 
He gazed on her face by the moon's mellow light, 

And loving and warm were the words on his tongue ; 
Through good and through evil he swore to be true, 

And love through all fortune his Winnie alone 
And he saw the red blush o'er her cheek as it flew, 

And heard her sweet voice that replied to his own. 

VII. 

Once more it has changed ; in his martial array 

Lo ! he rode at the head of his gallant young men, 
For the pibroch was heard on the hills far away, 

And the clans were all gathered from mountain and glen. 
For the darling of Scotland, their exile adored, 

They raised the loud slogan they rush'd to the strife, 
Unfuii'd was the banner unsheathed was the sword, 

For the cause of their heart, that was dearer than life. 

VIII. 

Again and the vision was lost to his sight ; 

But the phantom that follow'd was darksome and dread- 
The morn of his doom had succeeded the night, 

And a priest by his side said the prayers for the dead. 
He heard the dull sound of the slow muffled drum, 

And the hoarse sullen boom of the death-tolling bell. 
The block was prepared and the headsman had come, 

And the victim, bareheaded, walk'd forth from his cell. 

IX. 

No ! no ! 'twas but fancy his hour was not yet- 
And, waking, he turn'd on his pallet of straw, 

And a form by his side he could never forget, 
By the pale misty light of a taper he saw ; 

"Tis I 'tis thy Winifred !' softly she said, 
* Arouse thee, and follow be bold never fear : 

A 



82 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

There was danger abroad, but my errand has sped 
I promised to save thee, and lo I arn here r 



He rose at the summons ; but little they spoke ; 

The gear of a lady she placed on his head ; 
She covei-'d his limbs with a womanly cloak, 

And painted his cheeks of a maidenly red. 
' One kiss, my dear lord and begone and beware 

Walk softly I follow ! ! guide us and save 
From the open assault, from the intricate snare, 

Thou Providence, friend of the suffering brave I' 



XL 



They pass'd unsuspected the guard at the cell, 

And the sentinels weary that watch'd at the gate ; 
One danger remained but they conquer'd it well 

Another and Love triumph d still over Hate. 
And long ere the morning, their ship was at sea, 

Sailing down with fair winds, far away from the shore, 
lo the land of the Gaul, where their hearts might be free 

And the quarrels of monarchs disturb them no more 



THE SHOAL OP WHALES. 



CALM and unruffled is the bay, 
There is not even a breath at play, 
To make a ripple in the sun, 
That since this summer day begun 
Has shown the Hebridean isles 
A cloudless visage, bright with smiles. 
On the low rocks that fringe the sea 
The brown dulse welters lazily ; 
The sea-gulls hovering, milky white, 
Display their pinions to the light 
And dart and wheel with sudden cry 
Or drop like snow-flakes from the sky. 

ii. 

The minister is in the Manse 
His open Bible on his knees ; 

His daughters in the garden walk, 
And prime their stunted apple-trees, 
By high walls shelter'd from the 
breeze, 

That comes salt-laden from the beach 



Or lif t the tender floweret's stalk 
Which rains have beaten to the 
ground ; 

Or guard their solitary peach 
From birds, by network round. 

in. 

The fisher's wife beside her door 
Sits mending nets, and crooning o'er 

Some old sad Gaelic lay ; 
And children paddle in the brine 
Or watch the fair white sails that shine 

In sunlight o'er the bay, 
Or hide and seek 'mid boats that lie 
Keel upwards, on the beach to dry. 

IV. 

broods upon that Western isle : 
When a lone fisher on the sand, 
.Loitering along with vacant smile, 
a, ^ddenly stops, and with his hand 
bnades his face from the light of the 

skies, 
And summons his soul into his eyes, 



THE SHOAL OF WHALES. 



83 



To look if his sight deceives him not ; 
Lo ! there where sky and ocean 

blend ! 

He fixes his gaze upon the spot 
The glittering cascades ascend 
Twenty feet high then rustle down 
On the backs of the monsters, bare and 

brown ; 

Again and again he sees them roll 
There are whales in the bay A shoal ! 

A shoal ! 



In the fulness of his joy, his face 

Reddens and his quick eager shout, 
Echoing over that silent place, 

Call the inquiring people out. 
'The whales !' he cries and to behold 
Come the youthful and the old ; 
Come the feeble and the strong ; 

Men and women and girls ; with boys, 
That whether for right, or whether for 
wrong, 

Delight in the tumult and the noise ; 
Rushing down with trampling feet, 
And cries that the echoing hills repeat. 

VI. 

And now the uproar thicker grows 
From side to side the clapper goes 
In the kirk bell, as if its power 
Had been redoubled for this hour ; 
As if in such a cause inspired, 

It summon' d with gladness all th( 

flock; 
And flags are waved, and guns are fired 

And bonfires kindled on the rock ; 
And that lone isle of the Western sea 
Prepares for a day of jubilee. 

VII. 

c Leviathan ! Leviathan ! ' 

The minister cries, and shuts his book 
And though a man of peace is he, 
As a preacher of the Word should be, 

He takes his musket from a nook, 
Rusty and old ; and hastes away 
To join his people in the bay. 

VIII. 

His daughters fair have saddled thei 



Two young ponies sleek and brown; 



A.nd with flashing eyes and streaming 

hair, 
And heads uncover'd, have gallop'd 

down 

?o see the sport perchance to share. 
Jld men have left their usual place 

warm firesides, to join the chase, 
And one bedridden, half-crazy soul 

Has started up at the people's roar, 
And the joyous cry 'a shoal ! a shoal ! 7 
And hobbled on crutches to the door, 
Co envy the limbs of the passers-by, 
And watch the sport with kindling eye. 

IX. 

The women have left their spinning- 
wheels, 

Their hose, their nets, their fishing- 
creels, 

And arm'd themselves with pikes and 
staves 

To follow the monsters of the waves. 

Fifty boats at least are ready 

With rowers strong and helmsmen 
steady, 

To drive the whales into shallow water, 

And dye the beach with the blood of 
slaughter. 

x. 

Merrily ring the bells 

Merrily wave the flags 
Merrily shout the people 

That watch upon the crags. 
Merrily row the boats 

Merrily swell the sails 
And merrily go the islanders 

To chase the mighty whales. 
And quietly prays the preacher 

For a blessing and reward 
Upon harpoon and musket, 

U pon the spear and sword, 
That shall slay the great Leviathan, 

For the glory of the Lord ! 

XI. 

And steady steady steady 

Until their backs appear ; 
And ready ready ready 

With the musket and the spear ! 
Behold the spouts upheaving, 
Their sides the water cleaving 
A shot is fired and a sudden roar 
Proclaims approval on the shore ; 



84 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



And barb'd harpoons with lengthening 

twine 

Are launch'd unerring o'er the brine, 
And the water-spouts, that a minute ago 
Were clear as the discongealing snow, 
Rise ruddy in air like founts of wine ; 
And the wounded whales, in their agony, 
Plunge in fury through the sea, 
And lash the waters into froth, 
Blood -crimson'd by their pain and 

wrath. 

XII. 

In vain ye struggle luckless whales ! 

Your numbers were a score- 
But ten of you shall not escape 
To swim the salt seas more ! 
For ye have come to a needy land, 

And to a perilous shore, 
Where they will turn your bones to 
wealth 

Make coinage of your spoil, 
And give their virgins when they wed 

A dowry of your oil ; 
Where men will sit around their hearths, 

Reposing from their toil, 
And long that every day may see 
Such slaughter and such revelry. 

XIII. 

Again againthe muskets ring, 
And scare the sea-birds on the wing ; 
And not a shot is fired this day 
That fails to reach its mark and slay. 
Strong hands impel the heavy spear, 

Or drive the double-edged harpoon ; 
And the fair bay, whose waters clear 

Were stainless underneath the moon, 



Shall roll to-night a darker flood, 
And see its billows streak'd with 



blood. 



XIV. 



'Tis done the unequal strife is o'er 
The dying whales are driven ashore ; 

And long ere setting of the sun, 
Their carcasses are hauTd to land ; 
And, stretch'd unwieldy on the sand, 

Men count the prizes they have 

won; 

Twelve monsters huge, whose bones shal 
bring 

Enjoyment for the wintry nights, 
Whose oil shall make the wretched sing 

And fill the needy with delights. 



And round about the children go, 
With gladness fill'd to overflow, 
To hear the joyous bells resound, 
And see the bonfires blazing round. 

xv. 

This night shall mirth be unrestrain'd, 
The blood in quicker pulses driven ; 
And many a flowing cup be drain'd, 

And many a loving pledge be given ; 
And even the minister himself 
Shall lay his Bible on the shelf, 
And join his elders o'er a bowl 
To drink a welcome to the shoal. 
And every dweller in the isle 
Shall hold a festival the while, 
And mark in memory's tablets clear, 
This day the fairest of the year. 



THE WITCH OF SKERRIEVORE, 



1 WE were sisters, sisters seven 
The fairest women under heaven ; 
One was calm, serene, and fair 
One had locks of auburn hair 
One had lips like parted cherries 
One had cheeks like autumn berries- 
One had eyes where pity glow'd 
One a smile where love abode ; 
Comely, ruddy, graceful, tall ; 
And I the fairest of them all. 

ii. 

' my sisters ! sisters sweet, 
Dancing with their nimble feet, 
Mingling voices all the day 
In a happy roundelay, 
Wreathing flowers to bind their hair, 
With their smiles dispelling care, 
Scattering pleasures as they went, 
To the world's enravishment, 
my sisters ! oh then- fall ; 
Love destroy'd them one and all ! 

in. 

' Fairest blossoms of our clime, 
They were blighted ere then- time : 
One was sear'd by slander's breath- 
One, too loving, pined to death- 
One, deceived, and smitten low, 
In her madness lost her woe 



THE WITCH OF SKERRIEVORE. 



85 



One, we thought a maiden mild, 
In her frenzy slew her child 
One, with hopes and passions strong, 
Lived for vengeance, but not long : 
I alone escaped their fall 
I alone, amid them all. 

IV. 

' Never have I loved a man ; 
Never will I never can ; 
Smile, nor tear, nor passion-word 
Never yet my heart has stuVd ; 
Never shall they : Hate is free 
Love abides in slavery. 
I have other joys than this, 
Hotter pleasures, fiercer bliss, 
As upon the winds I go, 
Flying, floating to and fro ! 

v. 

1 Up in the air ! up in the air ! 
In foul weather, and in fair. 
I have made a compact free 
With the sprites of air and sea, 
To do my bidding willingly. 
I can ride the fleetest wind, 
And leave the lazy clouds behind, 
Or swim the surf where breakers roar 
Amid the rocks of Skerrievore, 
"Working mischief as I 
Floating, flying to and 

VI. 

' Up in the air ! up in the air ! 
Before the watchman is aware, 
I love to rattle the chimneys down, 
And rock the belfries of the town ! 
Oh, 'tis sweet o'er field and copse 
To rush from the barren mountain-tops, 
To strip the garden of flower and fruit, 
To scatter the pine-trees branch and root, 
To loosen the wreaths of drifted snow, 
And roll the avalanche below ! 

VII. 

* Oh, 'tis sweet to lide the blast, 
To rend the sail from the creaking mast, 
To dash the billows amid the shrouds, 
To hide the moon in the driving clouds, 
To sweep the sailor from the deck, 
And cast his ship on the rocks a wreck, 
And drown his last expiring cry 
In the howl of tempests rushing by ! 



go, 
fro ! 



VIII. 

' Up in the air ! up in the air ! 
I avenge my sisters fair ; 
On mankind I vent my wrath, 
Strewing clangers in his path. 
For this I've made a compact free 
With the powers of air and sea, 
That I shall rue eternally ! 
But hate is joy and this is mine, 
To ride the wind, to sail the brine, 
And work fierce mischief as I go, 
Floating, flying to and fro.' 

IX. 

Ye that sail the stormy seas 

Of the distant Hebrides, 

By Scarba's rock, and Colonsay, 

And old lona's Minster gray, 

By far Tiree, the flow'ry isle, 

And Stafla's wondrous cave and pile, 

By Jura, with her treble hills, 

And Skye, far looming, seam'd with rills, 

By lordly Mull and tQva's shore, 

Beware the Witch of Skerrievore ! 



THE BURN OF ABERIACHAN. 



I LOVE, oh bonnie Aberiachan, 

Thy wild and tumbling flood, 
So gently down thy rocks thou leapest, 
So softly in thy linns thou sleepest, 

Such silvery bubbles stud 
Thy glancing bosom, and so green 

Grows on thy back each birken bough, 
I never saw a waterfall 

More beautiful than thou. 

n. 

'Tis true, unlike thy roaring neighbour, 

Thy voice is sweet and low : 
The mighty Foyers speaks in thunder- 
Thou whisperest thy birch- trees under, 

To winds that o'er thee blow ; 
And after showers of spring-time rain, 

When every burnie bounds along, 
Thy voice, so musical and soft, 

But swells into a song. 

in. 

Yet more than Foyers, grand and 

solemn, 
I love thy limpid face : 



86 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



He awes us by his power and splen 

dour 
Thou, like a maiden kind and tender, 

Subduest by thy grace. 
And in the sunny summer time, 

From morn to night, I would rejoice 
To lie upon thy flowery banks, 

And listen to thy voice. 

IV. 

Or underneath thy shelving summits, 

Where tufted mosses grow 
BetAveen the green o'erhanging birches, 
Where all day long the lintie perches, 

Mine idle limbs I'd throw : 
And there I'd lie, until I sank 

To a half-slumber, 'mid the trees, 
Lull'd by thy confidential talk, 

Or murmur of thy bees. 

v. 

Or if I woke to dreams of fancy, 

Beneath thy steepest fall 
I'd sit and weave some thoughtful trea- 
sure, 
Into the light and airy measure, 

Of chant or madrigal : 
Or haply, in some genial hour, 

Interpret into words the song 
Thou siugest down the mountain side, 

When autumn floods are strong 

VI. 

Ev'n all the secret things thou breathest, 

From thy translucent breast, 
To the high mountains cold and hoary, 
Or the calm loch that, girt with glory, 

Receives thee from the west ; 
Thy secret hymn of thankfulness 

For all the beauty spread around, 
Upon the loch, upon the hills, 

Upon the pasture-ground. 

VII. 

I know thee, bonnie Aberiachan ! 

I know that thou canst raise 
The song of joy ; and that thou flowest 
With cheerful strength where'er thou 



Through all thy hidden ways. 
Let me be like thee, and rejoice, 

That if no Foyers high and strong, 
I still can lift a grateful voice, 

And glorify in song; 






That I can see a beauty round me, 

From many an eye conceal'd ; 
That Nature, kind to those who love 

her, 
Will still to them her face uncover, 

And love for loving yield. 
Let me, like thee, run cheerily on, 

And sing my song, though none may 

hear; 
Rewarded, if I please myself, 

And keep a current clear. 

ABERIACHAN, LOCH NESS, 
INVERNESS-SUIBE, 1844. 



THE WRAITH OF GARRY 
WATER. 

i. 

Go, Evan ! go ; the heart you swore 
In weal and woe alike to cherish, 
You've broken by your cold deceit, 
And thrown upon the world to perish. 

ii. 

A woman's curse is hard to bear- 
But may be turn'd, if love endeavour ; 
But the curse of a man with hoary hair 
It weighs upon the soul for ever. 

in. 
And for the wrong that you have done, 

Upon your head all sorrow gather. 
And in your soul, for evermore. 
Deep sink the curses of a father !' 

IV. 

The old man bared his gray, gray head 
And clasp'd his witherd hands to* 

gether ; 

And Evan cuii'd his lip in scorn, 
And rode his way across the heather. 

v. 

Why should I heed this dotard's words ? 

The needle from the pole will vary 

And time will wear and hearts will 

change ; 
1 love no more his bonnie Mary. 

VI. 

I trust that happy she may be, 
JN or Dine with sorrow overladen ; 



THE WRAITH OF GARRY WATER. 



87 



And she may love another man, 
And I will love another maiden.' 



VII. 



The night was fair the moon was up 
The wind blew low among the go wans ; 

Or fitful rose o'er Athol woods, 
And shook the berries from the 
rowans. 



VIII. 



And Evan rode through Garry strath, 
And quite forgot the old man's daugh- 
ter; 

And when he came to Garry stream, 
It ran a red and roaring water. 

IX. 

The summer rains had fallen fast, 

The voice of streams made music 

merry ; 
And brae-side burniesleap'd and danced, 

And mingled in the tide of Garry. 

x. 
And Bruar raised a joyful shout, 

And Tilt to Ben-Y-Gloe resounded ; 
And Tummel in his pride of strength, 

Down to his fall, rejoicing, bounded. 

XI. 

Green were the birks on Garry braes, 
Soft through their leaves the moon 
was peeping ; 

And 'mid the heather on the rock, 
There sat a bonnie maiden weeping. 

XII. 

Her kirtle seem'd of velvet green ; 

Her robes were azure, loosely flowing ; 
Her eyes shone bright amid her tears ; 

Her lips were fresh as gowans grow- 



ing. 



XIII. 



1 What brings thee here, my lily-flower ? 
High on the strath the storm-winds 

tarry ; 

The night is chill the hour is late ; 
Why weep'st thou by the banks of 
Garry V 



XIV. 



The maiden raised her tearful eyes. 
And with her silvery voice replying, 

Said, smoothing back her yellow locks, 
And speaking low and softly sigh- 
ing: 



xv 



'Though dark and swift the waters pour, 
Yet here I wait in dool and sorrow ; 

For bitter fate must I endure, 
Unless I pass the stream ere morrow. 



XVI. 

' Oh ! aid me in this deep distress, 
Nor seek its causes to unravel ; 

My strength, alas ! is weak at best, 
And I am worn with toil and travel.' 

XVII. 

'Though swift/ said Evan, 'is the flood, 
My good bay mare is strong and 

steady ; 

So trust thee lassie to my care, 
And quickly mount and make thee 
ready. 

XVIII. 

' For one glance of those eyes of blue, 
Thy bonnie burden I will carry ; 

For one kiss of those honey lips, 
I'll guide thee o'er the raging Garry. 

XIX. 

' What is it ails my good bay mare ? 

What is it makes her start and shiver ? 
She sees a Kelpie in the stream, 

Or fears the rushing of the river ! 

xx. 

' Ah, coward jade ! but heed her not, 
For, maiden dear, we may not 
tarry ; 

The beast has swum a swifter flood ; 
I'll see thee safely through the Garry.' 

XXI. 

They mounted on the good bay mare 
But vainly Evan strove to guide her ; 

Through all her frame a terror crept- 
She trembled at her bonnie rider. 

XXII. 

Then as she 'heard the maiden's voice, 
And felt her gentle fingers pat her, 

She gave a neigli as loud and shrill 
As if an evil sprite had sat her. 

XXIII. 

And with a desperate bound she sprang 
High from the bank into the current ; 

While sounds of laughter seem'd to mix 
Amid the roaring of the torrent. 



88 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



XXIV. 

The waters rush'd in eddying whirls, 
And clash'd the foam-drops o'er the 
heather ; 

And winds that seem'd asleep till then, 
Let loose their fury all together. 

XXV. 

Down down the awaken'd tempest 

blew 

And faster down the flood came pour- 
ing 

And horse and riders, overwhelm'd, 
Sank 'mid the rush of waters roaring. 

XXVI. 

But on the surface of the flood, 
Her yellow locks with spray-fall 
dripping, 

The maiden with the kirtle green 
And azure robe, came lightly tripping. 

XXVII. 

And now she sank, now rose again, 
And dash'd the waves in rain-like 
shiver ; 

Then lay afloat, or tiptoe stood 
Upon the foam-bells of the river : 



XXVIII. 

And laugh'd the while, and clapp'd her 
hands 

Until at last the storm subsided, 
When, like a gleam of parting light, 

Away upon the mist she glided. 



XXIX. 



And Evan's corpse at morn was found, 
Far down by Tummel, pale and 
mangled, 

His features bruised by jutting rocks, 
His auburn curls with gore entangled. 

XXX. 

Few were the mourners at his grave, 
But ; mid them two a sire and 
daughter ; 

And loud she sobb'd, and loud she wept, 
Though tenderly her sire besought her. 

XXXI. 

He loved me, and lie did me wrong/ 
She said, 'and darken'd all my 

morrow ; 

But in his grave Resentment sleeps, 
While Love survives to feed on 
Sorrow. 1 



THE LADY OF DUART'S VENGEANCE. 

[The Florida, one of the Invincible Armada, was sunk at Tobermory by an emissary of 
Queen Elizabeth. This vessel is supposed to'have contained a greaAS of spSe The 
. Z f n c uc 8 lt ls '. tbat a daughter of the King of Spain having dreamed that 

a young man of .particularly engaging figure had appeared to her, determined to sail the wide 
world in search of the living prototype of the vision : Maclean of Duart realized in the 
pnncesss eyes the creations of her fancy. The wife of Maclean became jealous of his atten- 
v^lt a v r S -^ n r ' and / 011 ^ counsel of the witches of Mull, by whose agency tho 
vessel was sunk with the object of her resentment.-^ncJmons Guide to the HighlandLf 

I. 

'WEIRD woman, that dweUest on lofty Ben More, 
Give ear to my sorrow, and aid, I implore. 
A lady has come from the green sunny bowers 
Of a far southern clime, to the mountains of ours 
A light m her eyes, but deceit in her heart, 
And she lingers and lingers, and will not depart. 

ii. 

' Tlirough darkness and danger, 'mid tempest and rain 
bhe has sail d to our shores from the vineyards of Spain, 



THE LADY OF QUARTS VENGEANCE. 89 

Forsaking her country, her kindred, her home, 
Abroad through our cold \Vestern islands to roam, 
To find a young lover as fair to her sight 
As a vision she saw in the slumbers of night, 

in. 

' And hither by stars inauspicious convey'd, 
She has come, in her gems and her beauty arrayed, 
With a tongue full of sweetness a heart insincere, 
And wielding at will both the smile and the tear ; 
And fix'd her bright eyes on the chief of Maclean, 
To toy with his heart, and bewilder his brain. 

IV. 

* And I, who was once the delight of his soul, 
Ere she like a blight on my happiness stole. 
Now wander through Duart, neglected and lorn, 
Of a stranger the scoff of my maidens the scorn ; 
With a grief in my bosom that gnaws to the core, 
And a fire in my brain that will burn evermore : 

v. 

1 Unless thou wilt aid. me with charm and with spell, 
To gain back the heart I have cherish'd so well, 
And rid me of her who with art the most vile 
Has poison'd my peace with her glozing and guile 
I hate her with hatred intense as despair ! 
Yet murder's a guilt that my soul cannot bear/ 

VI. 

* Be calm, craven spirit ! On me be the guilt. 
No poison shall rack her, no blood shall be spilt. 

Till my hair has turn'd gray, and my blood has grown thin, 
I have dwelt on Ben More with the spirits of sin ; 
And have learn'd by their aid without weapons to kill, 
And can blast by a look, and destroy by my will. 

vir. 

' Were the good ship, the Florida, far on the seas, 
I'd whirl her and toss her, like chaff on the breeze, 
And for on some cliff, where the storms ever roar, 
And aid could not reach them, I'd drive them ashore ; 
And the wanton I'd seize by her long raven locks, 
And drag her to death at the foot of the rocks. 

VIII. 

' But safe from all danger of winds and of tides, 

In calm Tobermory at anchor she rides ; 

But peril may come 'mid security deep, 

And vengeance may wake when the world is asleep ; 

And strong though her timbers her haven secure, 

The hand of Revenge, though unseen, shall be sure. 1 



90 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

IX. 

Serene was the night, and unruffled the bay, 
Not a breath stirr'd the deep where the Florida lay ; 
Her broad azure pennant hung breezeless on high, 
And her thin taper masts pointed clear to the sky ; 
And the moonlight that fell on the breast of the deep 
Appear'd like the charm that had lull'd it to sleep. 

x. 

The cabin-boy dream'd of the vineyards of Spain, 
Or roam'd with a maiden at sunset again ; 
The sailor, in fancy, was dancing afar, 
In his own native land, to his graceful guitar ; 
Or bless'd with a household, in sleep, was restored 
To the children he loved, and the wife he adored. 

XI. 

The fair Spanish lady in visions was blest : 

She dream'd that, escaped from the isles of the West, 

Her young Highland chief had consented to roam 

To her far Andalusia in search of a home ; 

That together they dwelt in her own sunny clime, 

Where life was not effort, and love was not crime. 



None dream'd of the danger that round them might lurk : 

.But in darkness and silence a spell was at work. 

ConceaFd in the waters, at poop and at prow, 

The agents of evil were busy below ; 

And noiseless their labour, but certain their stroke, 

Through her strong coppered hull, and her timbers of oak. 

XIII. 

And long ere the moniing, a loud sudden shriek 

Was heard o er the bay ' Sprung a leak ! sprung a leak ! ' 

On ! then there was gathering in tumult and fear, 

And a blanching of cheeks, as the peril grew near : 

A screaming of women a shouting of men 

And a rushing and trampling, again and again ! 

XIV. 

No time for leave-takingno leisure to weep ! 
In roll d the fierce waters, and down to the deep, 

%i T 1 fift i y fathoms > wi th captain and crew, 
The Florida sank, with the haven in view - 
.Down down to the bottom escaping but one, 
To tell the sad tale of the deed that was done. 



xv. 









THE BRIDGE OF GLEN ARAY. 



91 






THE BRIDGE OF GLEN ARAY. 



WE pass'd the bridge with tramping 
steeds, 

The waters rush'd below, 
Down from the gorges of the hills 

We heard the torrents flow. 
But louder than the roar of streams 

We rode as hurried men, 
The foot-falls of our cavalcade 

Re-echoed through the glen. 



ii. 



We sang and shouted as we went, 

Our hearts were light that day, 
When near the middle of the bridge 

A shrill voice bade us stay. 
We saw a woman gaunt and old 

Come gliding up the rocks, ' 
With long bare arms, and shrivell'd face, 

And gray dishevell'd locks. 

in. 

She seized my bridle suddenly, 

The horse stood still with f ear- 
lier hand was strong and bird-like 
long 

Her eye was piercing clear. 
' Oh shame !' she said, ' oh cruel shame ! 

To ride so fierce and wild, 
The clatter of your horses' hoofs 

Will wake my little child. 

IV. 

' Oh hush ! oh hush ! I pray you, hush ! 

I ask no other boon 
No word be said and softly tread 

The child will waken soon. 
I die of noises all day long, 

From Morn till Even-blush, 
Not for my sake, but hers, I pray 

Hush ! if you're Christians, hush !' 

v. * 
Much wonder'd we to hear her words, 

But Hugh, our guide, look'd on : 
1 Poor soul ! ' he said, ' we'll do our best 

To earn her benison. 
'Twill cost no trouble to be kind : 

Good Chrystie, let us through, 
We will not wake your sleeping child, 

But pray for her and you.' 



VI. 

She slowly let the bridle fall 

' Ride on your way/ she said 
' But oh, be silent ! noise like yours 

Disturbs both quick and dead.' 
And then she slid among the rocks ;- 

We saw not where she went, 
But turn'd to Hugh our anxious eyes, 

Inquiring what she meant. 

VII. 

'Poor thing!' he said, while forth we 
rode 

As if we trod on snow, 
1 Her brain is turn'd by sore mischance 

That happen'd long ago. 
Her age was scarcely twenty then, 

But what it now may be 
Is somewhat difficult to fix, 

Between fourscore and three. 

VIII. 

' Though now she's ugly as a witch, 

She was a beauty then, 
And with her gentleness and grace 

She won the hearts of men. 
And Donald Bain won hers, and sought 

The hand she freely gave ; 
They married ; but before a year 

She wept upon his grave. 

IX. 

' A little babe was left behind, 

A fairy thing, 'tis said, 
With soft blue eyes and golden hair, 

And cheeks of cherry red. 
It grew in beauty every day. 

The maid was two years old, 
The darling of her mother's life 

A pleasure to behold. 



' One day she wanderM to the stream- 
It was the time of floods 

Perchance she chased the butterfly, 
Or pluck'd the yellow buds. 

She lost her footing on the brink ; 
The mother heard the cry, 

And sprang to save, but all too late ! 
The flood ran roaring by. 

XI. 

1 She saw the little face and hands, 
Then leap'd into the foam, 



LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



To snatch it from impending death, 
And bear her darling home. 

In vain ! in vain ! oh, all in vain ! 
The neighbours gather'd round. 

Thev saved the mother from the deep 
The little child was drown'd. 

XII. 

' And since that day past fifty years 

She's lingered by the stream, 
And thinks the babe has gone to sleep, 

And dreams a happy dream. 
She fancies it will soon awake, 

With blue eyes twinkling, mild 
Unchanged by half a centuiy, 

And still a little child. 

XIII. 

'Beside the waters where it sank 

She sits the livelong day. 
Her eyes upon the eddies fix'd, 

That round the boulders play ; 
And spreads to dry upon the rocks 

The clothes which it shall wear, 
The little frock, the tiny shoes, ' 

And ribbons for its hair. 

XIV. 

' She loves deep silence ; bless'd with 
that, 

She feeds on empty hope. 
And daily nerves a broken heart 

With misery to cope. 
The pitying friends who bring her food 

All speak in whispers low, 
And never argue with the thought 

That cheers her in her woe. 

xv. 

* For she is harmless as a babe, 

Though mad, as you may see ; 
Grod save our senses, one and all ! ' 

* Amen ! amen ! ; said we. 
Such was the tale, and all that day 

Such sympathy it woke, 
I turn'd to chide each rising noise 

And whispered as I spoke. 

GLEN ARAY, INVERNESS- 
SHIRE, 1845. 



THE PLANTING OF THE 
ACORNS. 

DAHXAWAY FOREST. 



UPON this bare unsheltered ground 

The living germs we strew, 
And pray for kindly summer suns, 

And fertilizing dew. 
Receive the Acorns, mother Earth, 

And feed them year by year, 
Till proud and high, towards the sky 
Their lordly boughs they rear. 
Winds, blow gently o'er them ! 

Rain, fall softly down ! 
Earth, enwrap them warmly 
In thy bosom brown ! 

ii. 

Beneath the shadow of their leaves 

The wanton birds shall play, 
And lovers in the summer eves 
Shall sigh their hearts away ; 
Or sit together side by side 

In solitary nooks, 
To read in one another's eyes 
The lore not learn'd in books. 
Winds, blow gently o'er them ! 
Stars, look kindly through! 
Fortune, smile upon them, 
If their love be true ! 

in. 

And here in rural holidays, 

The village girls shall sing 
The simple rhymes of olden times, 

While dancing in a ring. 
Old men, upon the sward beneath, 

Shall loiter in the sun, 
With pipe and glass, and drowsy talk 
Of all the deeds they've done. 
Winds, blow gent'lv o'er them ! 

Sunshine, gild their way ! 
Time, lay light thy fingers 
On their heads of gray ! 

iv. 

And when a hundred years have pass'd, 
The oaks, grown old and hoar, 

bhall serve to form some mighty fleet, 
To guard our native shore. 



THE FALL OF FOYERS. 93 



By trusty hearts, in peril's hour, 

Our flag shall be unfurl' d 
To sound the fame of Britain's name 

In thunder o'er the world. 



Winds, blow gaily o'er them ! 

Calm thy rage, sea ! 
Bear thy burden proudly 

On to Victory ! 



THE FALL OF FOYERS, 

LOCH NESS, INVERNESS-SHIRE. 
I. 

WET with the spray of this transcendant river, 
Upon this crag with mosses covered o'er, 
I love to stand, and listen to the roar 

Of waters bursting down the rocks for ever 

Dash'd into rainbows where the sunbeams quiver. 
The sound of billows as they beat the shore, 
Or thunder leaping on the hill-tops hoar. 

Till the firm earth beneath its footsteps shiver, 

Is not more awful than thy flood, Foyers ! 
Roaring 'mid chasms like an escaping sea. 
Aloue, and silent, in thy presence vast, 

Awed, yet elated, the rapt soul aspires, 
Forgetting all its meaner longings past, 

To hold high converse, intimate, with thee. 

n. 

Yes ! all unmindful of the world without, 

My spirit with thee, and mine eyes in thrall 
To thy great beauty, swathing me about, 
To me thy voice breathes peace, majestic Fall ! 
Envy and pride, and warring passions all 
Hatred and scorn, and littleness of mind, 
And all the mean vexations of mankind, 

Fade from my spirit at thy powerful call. 
I stand before thee reverent and dumb, 
And hear thy voice discoursing to my soul 

Sublime orations tuned to psalmody 
High thoughts of peril met and overcome- 
Of Power and Beauty and Eternity, 
And the great God who bade thy waters roll ! 



FOYERS BEFORE THE FALL. 

ERE this commotion wakens in thy breast, 
Or these stern rocks call forth thy hidden powers, 
How gently, Foyers, thou passest all thine hours ! 
Now loitering where the linnet builds its nest, 
Or in green meadows where the cattle rest 



94 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

Lingering, and singing to the birken bowers, 
And heather-bells and all the woodland flowers 
That bare their bosoms to the fragrant west. 
So the great minds that soar to heights sublime, 
And win in peril all the world's applause 

By thoughts of wisdom and courageous deeds, 
Are aye the same that, in a calmer time. 
Conform them to the sweet domestic laws, 
And sport with happy children in the meads. 



THE NAMELESS MOUNTAIN 

STREAM. 

i. 

Ur from the shore of the placid lake 
Wherein thou tumblest, ram-muring low 
Over the meadow, and through the 

brake, 
And over the moor, where the rushes 

grow, 
I've traced thy course, thou gentl 

brook : 

I've seen thy life in all thy moods : 
I've seen thee lingering in the nook 
Of the shady, fragrant, pine-tree woods ; 
I've seen thee starting and leaping down 
The smooth high rocks and boulders 

brown ; 

I've track'd thee upwards, upwards still. 
From the spot where the lonely birch- 
tree stands, 

Low adown amid shingle and sands, 
Over the brow of the ferny hill. 
Over the moorland, purple dyed, 
Over the rifts of granite gray, 
Up to thy source on the mountain side, 
iar away oh, far away. 

n. 

Beautiful stream ! By rock and dell, 
There s not an inch in all thy course 
1 have not track'd. I know thee well ; 
1 know where blossoms the yellow gorse 
I know where waves the pale blue-bell' 
And where the hidden violets dwell. 
I know where the foxglove rears its head 
And where the heather tufts are spread 
1 know where the meadow-sweets ex- 
hale, 

And the white valerians load the gale 
I know the spot the bees love best, 
And where the linnet has built her nest. 



I know the bushes the grouse frequent, 
And the nooks where the shy deer 

browse the bent. 

I know each tree to thy fountein head 
The lady-birches, slim and fair : 
The feathery larch, the rowans red. 
The brambles trailing their tangled hair. 
And each is liiik'd to my waking thought 
By some remembrance fancy-fraught. 

in. 
I know the pools where the trout are 

found, 

The happy trout, uutouch'd by me. 
I know the basins, smooth and round, 
Worn by thy ceaseless industry, 
Out of the hard and stubborn stone 
Fair clear basins where nymphs might 

float ; 

And where in the noon-time all alone 
The brisk bold robin cleans his coat. 
[ know thy voice : I've heard thee sing 
Many a soft and plaintive tune, 
Like a lover's song in lif e's young spring, 
)r Endymion's to the moon. 
['ye heard it deepen to a roar 
When thou wert swollen by Autumn 

rains, 
And msh'd from the hill-tops to the 

plains, 

A loud and passionate orator. 
. ve spoken to thee and thou to me 
At morn, or noon, or closing night ; 
And ever the voice of thy minstrelsy 
Has been companion of delight. 

IV. 

fet, lovely stream, unknown to fame, 
Ihou hast oozed, and flow'd, and leap'd 

and run, 

Sver since Time its course begun, 
Vithout a record, without a name, 



THE POOL OF ST FILLANS. 



95 



I ask'd the shepherd on the hill 
He knew thee but as a common rill ; 
ask'd the farmer's blue-eyed daugh- 
ter- 
She knew thee but as a running water ; 
I ask'd the boatman, on the shore^ 
He was never ask'd to tell before 
Thou wert a brook, and nothing more ! 

v. 

Yet, stream, so clear to me aloue, 
I prize and cherish thee none the less 
That thou flowest unseen, unpraised, 

unknown, 

In the unfrequented wilderness. 
Though none admire and lay to heart 
How good and beautiful thou art, 
Thy flow'rets bloom, thy waters run, 
And the free birds chant thy benizon. 



Beauty is beauty, though unseen ; 
And those who live it all their days, 
Find meet reward in their soul serene, 
And the inner voice cf prayer and praise. 

VI. 

Like thee, fair streamlet, undefiled, 
Many a human virtue dwells, 
Unknown of men, in the distant dells, 
Or hides in the coverts of the wild. 
Many a mind of richest worth, 
Whether of high or of low estate, 
Illumes the by-ways of the earth, 
Unseen, but good ; unknown, but great. 
Many a happy and lovely soul 
Lives beauty in the fields afar, 
Or, 'mid the city's human shoal, 
Shines like a solitary star. 



A FATHER AT THE POOL OF ST FILLANS. 

[The Pool of St Fillans, in the Highlands of Perthshire, was celebrated in early ages as a 
place of resort for the cure of idiocy or insanity. Immersion in its healing waters accom- 
panied by adequate offerings to the shrine of the saint was believed to work a cure in the 
most desperate cases. J 

I. 

FOR thirty long years on the side of the mountain I've guarded 

Thy pool, St Fillans ! last hope of a desolate heart ; 
For thirty sad years I have sat at thy spring unrewarded : 
False Saint ! and false Fountain ! I'll take up my cross and depart. 

Hither come young and fan-, 

Hither comes hoary hair, 
Hither comes Hope with a light in her fast-fading eyes ; 

Hither comes humbled Wealth, 

Begging the crumbs of Health, 
Which Fate, like proud Lazarus, sits 'mid the stars and denies. 

ii. 
cheating St Fillans ! I brought thee my boy in his childhood, 

And now he's a man, and his hair is besprinkled with gray. 
What hast thou done for him ? Roams he not yet in the wild- wood 
Dark in the Night of Unreason unconscious of Day ? 
Have I not watch'd and wept, 
While o'er his features crept, 
Sparkles of light evanescent as gleams on the wave? 
Or, as in waters cast 
Shadow of bird that pass'd, 
Or glow of the far-flashing steel in the grasp of the brave? 

in. 

Idle ! all idle ! Sad Fountain, I've lost my reliance ! 
Thou canst not endow him with soul that he never enjoy'd ! 



96 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

Selfish and proud I may be, setting GOD at defiance, 
In craving the boon for my child which Bis wisdom destroy d. 

Happy and thoughtless he, 

All the grief lies with me ! 
Let me endure it, and cease to lament and deplore ; 

; Tis but a soul asleep 

In the earth-prison deep, 
Heaven shall awake it, in Freedom and Light evermore ! 



THE MOUNTAIN-TOP. 

POOR is the man, however great his wealth, 
To whom the sunshine yields no mental health ; 
To whom the music of the early birds 
Can bring no solace sweet as spoken words ; 
To whom the torrent, with its ceaseless hymn, 
The streamlet wending through the copses dim, 
The upland lake, reflecting moon and star, 
Or mighty ocean gleaming from afar ; 
The roar of branches in the wintry woods, 
The solemn diapason of the floods, 
All sights and sounds in Nature's varied range, 
Lovely in all and good in every change, 
Can bring no charm serene, no joy refined, 
To please his heart or elevate his mind. 

But rich he is, however scant of gold, 
Who, in despite of sorrows manifold, 
Can find a joy at morn or eventide, 
And fresh instruction on the mountain-side ; 
Who loves the wisdom which the woodland yields, 
And all the dewy beauty of the fields. 
Welcome to him, with a companion fit, 
Th' umbrageous depths where noonday chequers fljfc, 
The shady path, the voice of brawling streams, 
The silent pool where sunlight never beams, 
The snowy summits of the Alpine peak, 
The hopeful splendour on the morning's cheek, 
The glow of noon, the evening's tender light, 
And all the placid majesty of night, 
The peace and joy, the hope and love that dwell 
In Nature's eyes, for those who love her well. 

Up to the mountain ! ere the morn be late, 
And farewell Wisdom, in her robes of state ; 
We'll bid her welcome, with her travelling suit, 
Her ashen staff, her knapsack, and her flute ! 
Up to the mountain ! to the very cope ! 
Over the moorlands up the breezy slope ; 
Or down in dells, beside the rippling brooks 
In their green furrows through the loveliest nooks 



THE MO U&TA IN-TOP. 97 

To their top fountains, whence, meandering slow, 
They bound in beauty to the vales below ! 
Up to the mountain, in the air and sun, 
For health and pleasure to be woo'd and won ! 

How cheerily the voices of the morn 
Rise as we go ! The lark has left the corn, 
And sings her glad hosannas to the day ; 
The blackbird trolls his rich notes far away ; 
While, from th' awaken'd homestead far adown, 
Come floating up the murmurs of the town. 
Hark to the day's shrill trumpeter, the cock ; 
The bark of hounds ; the bleating of the flock 
The lowing of the milk-o'erburden'd kine ; 
And laugh of children ; sweetest music mine. 

Upwards, still up ! and all these sounds expire 
In the faint distance, save that, mounting higher, 
We still can hear, descending from the cloud, 
The lark's triumphal anthem, long and loud. 
Or far away, a wanderer from the bowers, 
Rifling for sweets the now infrequent flowers, 
A solitary bee goes buzzing by, 
With livery coat, and bundle at his thigh ; 
With honest music, telling all that will, 
How great a worker rambles on the hill. 

A streamlet gushes on the mountain-side, 
It yields a draught to men of sloth denied; 
Unknown to all who love the easy street 
Better than crags where cloud and mountain meet, 
Unprized, untasted in the plodding town, 
Where limbs grow rusty upon beds of down. 
Let no man say he has outlived delight, 
Who has not climb'd the mountains topmost height, 
And found far up, when faint with toil and heat, 
A little fountain oozing at his feet, 
And laid him down upon the grass or stones, 
At his full length, to rest his weary bones, 
And drink long draughts at the delicious spring, 
Better than wine at banquet of a king : 
And when refresh'd, and grateful for the gift, 
To fill his pocket-flask with prudent thrift, 
Then bathe his hands and face, and start again 
With keener pleasure, purchased by a pain. 

Upwards, still upwards, lies the arduous way ; 
But not still upward must our vision stray ; 
In climbing hills, as in our life, we find 
True Wisdom stops at times, and looks behind 
Stops to survey the progress she has made, 
The sunny levels and the flowery shade, 
Or difficulties pass'd. Thus, as we go, 
We pause to view the loveliness below, 



08 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

Or note the landscape widening as we climb, 
New at each turn, and variously sublime. 

How bountiful and kind is Heaven to man ! 
What ceaseless love pervades the wondrous plan ! 
Each sense, each faculty, and each desire, 
To those who humbly hope while they aspire, 
Is a perpetual source of secret joy, 
If Reason prompt and hallow its employ ; 
And all God's noblest guts are most profuse, 
And simplest joys grow exquisite by use. 
I never see the landscape smiling fair, 
Without delight that seems too great to bear; 
I never turn from man's to Nature's face, 
Without a pleasure that I cannot trace ; 
I never hear the tempest in the trees, 
Without mysterious throbs of sympathies : 
I never hear the billows on the shore, 
Without a secret impulse to adore ; 
Nor stand, as now upon the quiet hills, 
Without a mild religious awe, that fills 
My soul with raptures I can not express, 
Raptures, not f>eace a joy, not happiness. 



VOICES IN THE AIR. 
GALLANACH NEAR OBAN, 1872. 

OPT in the pleasant talk of waking dreams 
I hold communion with the woods and streams, 
Speak to the garrulous trees when winds blow Ligh, 
And hear responses 'twixt the earth and sky 
task old Ocean when he chafes and rolls, 
Whether he eludes, rejoices, or condoles, 

Wk ,^M' ^ h svm P a % I deem divine 
Mis awful voice make answer back to mine. 

Beside the boulder on the rocky shore 
Forlorn old relic of the days of yore 

fSEffii^ ^ by f ? ot of } k K 

Vowt rl ^f (IenD S wllis P ers of the wind; 
Voices like Memnon's in tne olden day, 
That breathed soft music to the morning inv 
W?fi ?Pk e . f T Aeries to wondering men ' 
Within their hope, but far beyond the? ken. 



s, all the sounds and sfehs 



MAGLAINffS CHILD. 



99 



In waves of music rippling low and clear, 
Unheard but of the mind that seeks to hear, 
One psalm sublime, around, beneath, above, 
"Words of a myriad meanings, GOD is LOVE. 



AULT NA MHINA, OR THE BURN 
OF MINNIE. 

BETWEEN OBAN AND DUNSTAFFNAQE, 
ARGYLESHIRE, 1872. 

I. 

NITRSED on the bosom of the Ben, 
I track thee downwards to the glen, 
With all thy devious twists and turns 
Through moor and moss, 'mid bent and 

ferns, 

And careless as the wilful wind; 
What joys we seek or fail to find, 
We'll pass this summer day together, 
Thou bonnie burn among the heather. 

ii. 

Here through bog-myrtle beds thou 

creepest, 

Here over rock and crag thou leapest, 
And here thou tamest in a pool, 
So broad and deep, so clear and cool, 
I long to strip beside the linn, 
And stretch me, naiad-like within, 
Pleased as a child to be so nude 
In the delicious solitude. 

in. 

An idle robin wandering by, 
Thinks he may bathe as well as I, 
But doubtful of the traitor, man, 
Flies out of danger while he can ; 
A mountain lamb, come down to drink, 
Starts to espy me from the brink, 



nime, 



And scuds affrighted down the wind, 
Scared at the sight of human kind. 

IV. 

It pains me, fellows of the dust, 
To know your terror and mistrust, 
And that you fail to understand 
There lurks no murder hi my hand j 
That Fm unwilling to destroy 
The humblest innocence or joy. 
And that your dread of me and 
Jars upon harmonies divine. 

v. 

I rise refreshed, to trace once more 

Thy wanton waters to the shore, 

And never weary as I go 

Blue sky above, green earth below ; 

To render into words the song. 

Now soft and sweet, now loud and 

strong, 

That to the sunlight and the moon, 
Thou singest to such constant tune. 

VI. 

I know the old familiar strain ! 
I've sung it, and will sing again, 
The song of Gratitude and Love, 
Such as the skylark trills above ; 
The lilt of Hope, and Joy, and Peace, 
The Hymn of praise that shall not cease, 
While Life and Reason dwell together, 
Thou bonnie burn among the heather ! 



MACLAINE'S CHILD, 

A LEGEND OP LOOHBUT, MULL. 

' MACLAIXE, you 've scourged me like a hound ; 
You should have struck me to the ground, 
You should have play'd a chieftain's part 
You should have stabb'd me to the heart. 
' You should have crush 1 d me into death ; 
But here I swear with living breath, 
That for this wrong which you have done, 
I '11 wreak my vengeance on your son 



100 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

1 On him, and you, and all your race ! ' 
He said, and bounding from his place, 
He seized the child with sudden nold 
A smiling infant three years old. 

And, starting like a hunted stag, 
He scaled the rock, he clomb the crag, 
And reach'd o'er many a wide abyss 
The beetling seaward precipice. 

And, leaning o'er its topmost ledge, 
He held the infant o'er the edge. 
' In vain thy wrath, thy sorrow vain, 
No hand shall save it, proud Maclaine ! ' 
With flashing eye and burning brow 
The mother followed, heedless how, 
O'er crags with mosses overgrown, 
And stair-like juts of slippery stone. 
But midway up the rugged steep, 
She found a chasm she could not leap, 
And, kneeling on its brink, she raised 
Her supplicating hands, and gazed. 
'Oh, spare my child, my joy, my pride ; 
Oh, give me back my child ! ' sne cried ; 
4 My child ! my child !' with sobs and tears, 
She shriek'd upon his callous ears. 

1 Come, Evan,' said the trembling chief, 
His bosom wrung with pride and grief, 
' Restore the boy, give back my son, 
And I '11 forgive the wrong you 've done.' 
' I scorn forgiveness, haughty man ! 
You 've injured me before the clan, 
And nought but blood shall wipe away 
The shame I have endured to-day.' ' 
And as he spoke he raised the child, 
To dash it 'mid the breakers wild, 
But at the mother's piercing ciy 
Drew back a step, and made reply : 



lady, if your lord will strip, 
And let a clansman wield the whip, 
Ti skin shall flav and blood shall run, 
I 11 give you back your little son.' 
The lady's cheeks grew pale with ire, 
The chieftain's eyes flash'd sudden fire: 
He drew a pistol from his breast, 
look aim, then dropt it sore distrest. 
'I might have slain my babe instead. 
Come Evan, come,' the father said, 

< w *n r 2 U ? h his heart a tremor r an ; 
We 11 tight our quarrel man to man.' 



MACLAINE'S CHILD. 101 



1 Wrong unavenged I 've never borne,' 
Said Eva: 
You 've 



Said Evan, speaking loud in scorn ; 

heard my answer, proud Madame. 



I will not fight you think again 1* 

The lady stood in mute despair, 
With freezing blood and stiffening hair ; 
She moved no limb, she spoke no word, 
She could but look upon her lord. 

He saw the quivering of her eye, 
Pale lips, and speechless agony 
And doing battle with his pride, 
' Give back the boy I yield,' he cried. 

A storm of passion shook his mind, 
Anger, and shame, and love combined ; 
But love prevailed, and, bending low, 
He bared his shoulders to the blow. 

* I smite you,' said the clansman true ; 
' Forgive me, chief, the deed I do ! 
For by yon Heaven that hears me speak, 
My dirk in Evan's heart shall reek. 7 

But Evan's face beam'd hate and joy ; 
Close to his breast he hugg'd the boy : 
' Revenge is just ! revenge is sweet ! 
And mine, Lochbuy, shall be complete.' 

Ere hand could stir, with sudden shock 
He threw the infant o'er the rock ; 
Then follow'd with a desperate leap, 
Down fifty fathoms to the deep. 

They found their bodies in the tide ; 
And never till the day she died 
Was that sad mother known to smile : 
The Niobe of Mulla's isle. 

They dragg'd false Evan from the sea, 
And hang'd him on a gallows tree ; 
And ravens fatten'd on his brain, 
To sate the vengeance of Madame, 



KILRAVOCK TOWER. 

FORLORN old tower ! that lookest sadly down 
Upon the river glittering in the light, 
Upon the green leaves of the clambering woods, 
And o'er the wide expanse of mountain-land, 
How many tales thine ancient walls might tell \ 
And yet, thou silent undivulging tower, 
What couldst thou tell us that we do not know? 
The matter of all history is the same. 



102 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 

Time in all changes can but iterate 

The morn and eve, the noontime and the night, 

The spring's fresh promise and the autumnal fruit, 

The leaves of summer and the winter's snow. 

And human story still repeats itself, 

The form may differ, but the soul remains. 

Four hundred years ago, when thou wert built, 
Men err'd and sufferM ; Truth and Falsehood waged 
One with the other their perpetual war ; 
And Justice and Injustice, Right and Wrong, 

. Succmnb'd and triumph'd as they do to-day. 

! The young heart loved with passionate earnestness, 
The old heart scorn'd all follies but its own ; 
And Joy and Sorrow Jealousy Revenge 
Lusty Ambition skulking Avarice 
Patience and Zeal and persecuting Rage 
Pity and Hope and Charity and Love 
All good and evil passions of the inind, 
Brighten'd or darken'd oh, thou mouldering wall ! 
Through all the landscape of Humanity. 

Couldst thou divulge whatever thou hast seen, 
Thou couldst but call these spirits from the Past 
To read us lessons. Ancient Tower ! thy voice 
Need not instruct us ; for we look around 
On highways or on byways of our life, 
And find no sorrow of the ancient days 
Unparallel'd in ours ; no love sublime, 
No patient and heroic tenderness, 
No strong endurance in adversity, 
No womanly or manly grace of mind, 
That we could not, if every truth were known, 
Match with its fellow in our later days. 
So keep, old Tower, thy secrets to thyself ! 
There 's not a hovel in the crowded town, 
That could not tell us tomes of histories 
Of good and evil, wonderful as thine. 

, NAJRNSHIRE. 



LAMENT OF CONA* FOR THE UNPEOPLING OF THE 
HIGHLANDS. 

i. 

Low o'er Ben Nevis, the mists of the sunrise are trailing 
Dimly he stands, by the tempests of centuries worn: * 
m? y > Locliaber and g^ Ballachulish are veiling 
Iheir cold jagged peaks in the thick drooping vapours of mom : 

modem word^ nam6 ^^ by * Sian t0 the River Coe ' and one that ou S ht to supersede tUf 



LAMENT OF CONA. 103 

Red gleams the sun o'er the ocean, 
Lochlin with angry commotion 

Batters the shore, making moan in its innermost caves ; 
While from each mountain height, 
Fed by the rains of night, 
Torrents come bounding to mingle their voice with the waves. 

ii. 

On through Glen Cpna, the valley of murder and rapine, 

Dark with the crimes and the sorrows of days that are past ; 
On by the track where the three giant sphinxes of Appin 
Loom through the moorland, unshapely, majestic, and vast; 
On by the turbulent river, 
Darting the spray from her quiver, 
Bounding and rolling in glory and beauty along ; 
On by the rocky path, 
Far through the gloomy strath, 
Lonely I wander by Cona, the river of song. 

in. 

Cona ! sad Cona ! I hear the loud psalm of thy sorrow ; 
Weird are thy melodies, filling with music the glen ; 
Dark is the day of the people, and shall no to-morrow 

Gleaming with brightness bring joy to these true-hearted men] 
Not for the past and its sadness, 
Not for its guilt and its madness, 
Mourn we, oh Cona ! To-day has a grief of its own. 
Forth go the young and old, 
Forth go the free and bold, 
Albyn is desolate ! Rachael of nations ! Alone ! 

IV. 

Roll on, ye dark mists, and take shape as ye marshal before me, 

One is among you I see her, dejected and pale ! 
Mournful she glides ; it is Cona, who hov'ring over me, 
Chaunts in the roar of the stream her lament for the Gael. 
Words from her echoes are fashion' d 
Surging like pibrochs impassion'd ; 
Mourning for Scotland and sobbing her useless appeals ; 
Sprite of the mountain stream, 
Telling a truth or dream ! 
Reason is in it ; come, hear what the spirit reveals ! 

v. 
' Weep, Albyn, weep ! ' she exclaims, ' for this dark desolation, 

Green are thy mountains and blue are thy streams as of yore ; 
Broad are thy valleys to feed and to nurture a nation, 
Mother of nations, but nation thyself never more ! 
Men of strong heart and endeavour 
Sigh as they leave thee for ever ; 

Those who remain are down-stricken, and weary, and few ; 
Low in the dust they lie, 
Careless to live or die ; 
Misery conquers them ; foemen could never subdue ! 



104 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



VI. 

' Once thou wert home of a people of heroes and sages ; 

Strong in the battle and wise in the counsel were they, 
Firm in all duty, as rocks in the tempests of ages 
Loving and loyal, and honest and open as day. 
Pure were their actions in story, 
Clear was the light of their glory, 

Proud were the chiefs of the clansmen who came to their call, 
Proud of their race and laws, 
Proud of their country's cause, 
Proud of their faith, of their liberty prouder than all. 

VII. 

'Each Highland hut was the home of domestic affection ; 

( Honour and Industry sat at the hearth of the poor ; 
Piety prompted the day's and the night's genuflexion ; 
Those who felt sorrow could still be erect and endure. 
Born in no bright summer bowers, 
Sweet were the fair human flowers 
Maids of the Highlands, arrayM in their glory of smiles ; 
Blessings of good men's lives, 
Thrifty and sober wives, 
Mothers of heroes, the charm and the pride of the Isles. 

VIII. 

' Where are they now ? Tell us where are thy sons and thy daughters ? 

Albyu ! sad mother ! no more in thy bosom they dwell ! 
Far, far away, they have found a new home o'er the waters, 
Yearning for thee with a Jove that no language can tell. 
Cold are the hearths of their childhood, 
Roofless their huts in the wildwood, 
Bends the red heather no more to the feet of the clan ; 

Where once the clachan stood, 
t Come the shy grouse and brood, 

* earing no danger so far from the presence of man. 



IX. 

'^> h< ll e 5 h - e fail '- headed > blue-eyed rosy babes of the Norland 
.Bathed m the burn, making merry the long summer noon, 
tomes the red-deer undismayed from his haunts in the moorland, 
bJaking his thirst, where the pool shows its breast to the moon, 

\\ here in the days long departed, 
o i Maidens sat singing, light-hearted, 
bounds but the roar of the flood, or the whisper of rills 

Voices of human kind, 
. Freight not the vacant wind, 

Music and laughter are mute on the tenantless hills. 

x. 

Nimrods and hunters are lords of the mount and the forest, 
Men but encumber the soil where their forefathers trod ; 



ro ; 

l i ? lmtr ? the l fought when its need was the * 

Jfortb they must wander, their hope not in man but in God 



THE VISIONS OF MICHAEL SCOTT. 105 

Roaming alone o'er the heather, 
Naught but the bleat of the wether, 
The bark of the collie, or crack of the grouse-slayer's gun, 
Breaks on the lonely ear, 
Land of the sheep and deer ! 
Albyn of heroes ! the day of thy glory is done !' 

XI. 

Cona ! sad Cona ! I hear the loud psalm of thy sorrow, 
Weird are thy melodies filling with music the glen ; 
Dark is the day of the people, and shall no to-morrow, 
Gleaming with brightness, bring joy to these desolate men? 
Yes ; but not here shall they find it ; 
Darkness has darkness behind it ; 
Far o'er the rolling Atlantic the day-star shall shine ; 
Young o'er the Western main 
Albyn shall bloom again, 
Rearing new blossoms, old laud ! as majestic as thine, 



THE VISIONS OF MICHAEL SOOTT, THE WIZARD. 

AN ODE FOR THE WALTER SOOTT CENTENARY. 
EDINBURGH, AUGUST 15, 1871. 



I, MICHAEL SCOTT, endow'd with power to see 

Up the dark vistas of futurity, 

And through the veil that shrouds the bygone time, 

With all its sorrow, suffering, and crime, 

Behold two visions open on my sight 

Hazy and dim the one, the second bright 

With all the purpling hues of life and light. 



I see the days that were the days that are 

Darken'd by rapine, cruelty, and war ; 

When over all this beauteous mountain land 

Fraud and oppression rule with iron hand. 

When the weak fall, the victims of the strong, 

When right is crush'd by the aggressive wrong, 

And good men groan ' Oh Lord, our God, how long? : 

in. 

Because I'm wise alas ! my wisdom's light 
Is but a taper glimmering in the night ; 
They call me wizard, who, with wicked skill, 
Cleft into three the peak of Eildon Hill- 
Dream that I blight the harvests of the plain, 
Control the summer sun or spring-time rain, 
Aad rouse or calm the tempests of the main. 



106 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



IV. 

They deem I study in a magic book, 

That I can maim or slay by word or look, 

And call the unwilling lightning from the skies, 

Ridden by fiends, to blast mine enemies. 

Poor fools ! they know not, and 'tis vain to tell, 

Sunk in the depths of darkness where they dwell, 

That knowledge comes from Heaven, and not from HelL 

v. 

Fade from my sight ! go back into the past 
Ye mournful days wherein my lot is cast ! 
And let my glad and grateful eyes behold. 
Of the new Morn the crimson and the gold, 
When Knowledge, like the ripening rain, shall fall 
Impartial on the great and on the small, 
Cheering, adorning, and sustaining all. 

VI. 

When true Religion's holy light shall shine, 

And every child shall read the Book Divine 

And wakening Science in her second birth 

Shall turn her piercing eyes o'er Heaven and Earth, 

And work more magic with her wondrous hand, 

In one short day, o'er all the happy land, 

Than Fancy ever dream'd or wisdom plann'd. 

VII. 

Amid the dawning splendour, growing clear, 
Shall the true Wizard and true sage appear, 
In the great light of whose meridian prime, 
Benignant, joyous, tender, and sublime, 
All other lights that e'er our Scotland knew, 
Great as they were, the many or the few, 
Shall seem but torches flickering in the blue. 

VIII. 

Lo ! from the vast recesses of his brain 

Emerge the mighty dead to live again ; 

He waves his hand, and, lo ! they act their parts, 

And open wide the portals of their hearts. 

Their loves and hates, their inmost hopes and fears, 

All that ennobles, touches, and endears. 

Their grief or joy, their laughter or their tears. 

IX. 

Through glen and strath he walks hi generous pride, 
And fills with life the lonely mountain side, 
Peoples the lucent Loch or craggy Ben 
With lovely women and great-hearted men, 



THE VISIONS OF MICHAEL SCOTT, 107 

And with a magic key unlocks the gate 
Of Time's dark temple, where he sits elate, 
And lights it up again, m all its state. 



He takes a lowly maiden from the field,* 
And on her broAv no more to be conceal'd 
While Scotland stands, firm rooted in the sea 
Places a crown of virtuous modesty, 
Brighter and nobler in its simple sheen 
Than any diadem of king or queen 
That ever glitter'd since a king hath been. 

XI. 

Where'er he goes men venerate his name, 
Remotest lands re-echo with his fame, 
And his own Scotland, wild and bleak and bare, 
Robed in the light he destined it to wear, 
Becomes the jewel of the northern seas, 
Where throng the pilgrims and the devotees, 
As to a shrine of holiest mysteries. 

XII. 

Then, from the world, his daily magic wrought, 
He hies him home, and shaking off his thought, 
Ploughs- in his fields or plants the darling ground, 
Or from his princely hand throws largess round 
To all who need ; or sitting by the fire 
Becomes the tender husband and the sire 
A good plain man to love and to admire. 

XIII. 

Alas ! alas ! on that majestic head 

Gather the storms the lightning bolt is sped 

Billows of sorrow surge on every side 

With whitening crests to overwhelm his pride. 

But he, in native dignity of soul, 

Rises erect, and sighs, 'Let God control ; 

Duty's my fate, my pathway, and my goal.' 

XIV. 

He sees not, feels not, fenced with courage in, 

How fierce the conflict which he may not win ; 

But fights the fight, defiant to the last, 

As firm as Stafia in the northern blast, 

And like its wondrous cave Titanic piled 

Receives the raging waters undefiled, 

Or answers back with music weird and wild. 

* Jeanie Deans, in the ' Heart of Mid Lothian. 



108 LEGENDS OF THE ISLES. 



xv. 

The end is hidden ; but I hear the cry 
As of a mother when her children die 
; Tis Scotland weeping for her noblest son, 
His heart at rest, his race of glory run. 
Let her lament ! she may not hope to see, 
In all the countless ages vet to be, 
Another son so great and good as he. 

XVI. 

The sorrow passes like the tearful mist 

In a May morning, when the sun hath kiss'd 

The mountain tops, and Scotland lifts her head, 

Weeping no longer for her glorious dead, 

And shouts aloud from rugged shore to shore 

' The light remains, though not the hand that bore, 

And in my heart shall shine for evermore. 



EGERIA, 



OB 



THE SPIRIT OF NATURE. 1850. 



CANTO I. THE SEASHORE. 

UPON the lonely margin of the sea, 

Whose crested waves beat hoarsely on the shore, 

Warring against it with perpetual feud, 

Sat Julian, young and fair, but full of woe. 

His calm blue eyes were tiirn'd upon the deep, 

Looking, not seeing : all his thought, self -poised, 

Seem'd centred in untold calamity. 

Beside him stood another, more mature, 
But youthful still, and in his early prime, 
With sun-brown skin, full eyes, and ruddy cheeks, 
An open front, and light thick-clustering hair. 
' Julian/ he said, ' why dwells upon thy brow 
This settled grief ? Art thou not young 1 ? and rich? 
And strong? and healthful? with a host of friends? 
Hast thou not everything the world can give ? 
All that the heart can crave, or sense desire ? 
Hast thou not intellect, and power, and fame, 
And heavenly opportunity of growth ? 
And yet, from day to day, and night to night, 
Thou sittest moping o'er ideal griefs ; 
A moony idiot were not worse than thou.' 

* Ay, thou mayst talk and lecture, Montague ! 
I've run some round of pleasure in my time ; 
I've seen and heard, and studied and explored, 
Examined, delved, weigh'd, suflfer'd, thought, enjoyed; 
Tried every pleasure, tasted every pain, 
And, like King Solomon, with deep disgust, 
I can but cry, " Oh, empty Vanity ! 
Oh, sharp vexation ! mockery! despair!"' 



110 E9EEIA. 

A loud, long laugh was Montague's response ; 
But still the other kept his moody mien, 
And look'd so woe-begone and sick of heart, 
His friend took pity on his misery, 
And spake him kindly : 'Julian, thou art ill. 
It is not natural a man should brood 
Ever on sorrow, where no sorrow dwells. 
Perchance thy busy brain is overwrought 
With mental toil : come, give thy heart a turn 
Thy heart, thy limbs, thy morals, and thy life. 
Leave books and study, systems, dogmas, creeds, 
Divines, philosophers, historians, bards : 
Pamphlets, blue-books, and leading-articles. 
Leave the economists, oh, leave them all, 
Until some surer science than they teach 
Of social justice, shall dispel their doubts 
And lead them to the light from utter dark. 
And, worse than all, leave metaphysic lore, 
Which sinks thee floundering in chaotic glooms 
Till thou art dubious of the Universe 
And of thy little self as part of it. 
Leave them awhile, and let 's go hunt, or shoot, 
Or swim, or climb the hills, or give a feast 
Or dance with Beauty in the glittering bail 
Or travel into Iceland, or to Ind, 
Or through the desert to the Pyramids, 
Or over Andean heights ; or, if thou wilt, 
lo San Francisco and the golden land.' 

'I like thee, Montague, but I am sad. 
1 velost my faith, my courage, and my hope, 
And often doubt if Evil or if Good 
Made and upholds this wretched Universe. 
The earth is foul the o'er-arching skies are black, 
When I behold the misery and wronir 
The crimes and foUies of humanity.' 

' Mere moony madness, Julian ; throw it off 
Nor vilify the world, thyself, and God.' 

'Not so ; for I have look'd into my heart, 
And in its mirror I have seenmyself- 
Myself not worst of aU the crawling things 
That desecrate the innocent lap of ?arth * 

SaW ' '' 



Whi r er 

p f ^ A 1S , n me ' I am volm g in years 

But old before my time with d?ep disgust 

At mine ownself-at Man-at HeaveS-at Fate ' 

My sister shall not wed misantfiropy 
I will persuade her to uproot her fove, 
And pluck it from the tendrils of her iieart 
Unless her bridegroom shall grow sane aai 



EGERIA. in 



And love all humankind for sake of her. 

"Why, 'twas but yestermorn thou swo/st an oath, 

That Ellen's love was paradise to win, 

And thou hadst won it. Julian, be a man, 

And cease this whooping, hideous as an owl's; 

Come, I will be thy doctor in this case, 

And cure thee for the credit of my craft/ 

' Tell thy fair sister, Montague, her love 
Exalts me to myself, and her to heaven. 
Tell her I love her as beseems a man, 
With heart and soul, and stedfast purity ; 
And that since time began, and earth was earth, 
Was never woman more beloved than she : 
Were she estranged, I should be mad indeed, 
And life would lose its latest spark of light.' 

' If so, I'll cure thee, or my leechcraft fails. 
Come with me to the fields, and skip, run, leap 
The breath of heaven shall waft thee quietude, 
The breeze of morn bear healing to thy brain, 
The voice of Nature speak to thee of peace, 
And with perpetual comfort, ever new, 
Free- thy sad spirit from the evil thoughts 
That dim the lovely world, and poison air 
With cancerous blotches. Julian, be advised, 
And I will make thee whole. Hark ! in the sky 
The lark sings merrily, the river brawls, 
Running its happjr journey to the sea. 
The doves are cooing on the forest boughs, 
The sunlight streams upon the distant hills 
All Nature smiles in innocence and joy : 
The very wind that sports amid the leaves 
Whispers the loveliness of Earth and Life/ 

' Ay, of the earth,' he said, ' but not of man ; 
The vain, capricious, sanguinary fool, 
Who makes his gods in likeness of himself, 
And peoples heaven with base divinities 
Creatures of lust impure, arid savage guile. 
Ah ! were the world a world of little babes, 
That never ripen'd into full-grown men, 
I might confess the heavenliness of earth, 
And see the vision of a paradise ! 
But time and change brew evil out of good, 
And of the innocent suckling make a man, 
And of the man a thing that cheats and lies, 
And kills his fellows for religious hate. 
Have / not, Montague say, have not / 
Essa^d to teach this base and sordid age 
The heavenly truths it knows not ? Have not / 
Endeavour'd to instil the sense of Right, 
Of Mercy, Justice, Charity, and Truth, 



112 EGERIA. 



To this swine multitude, mire-wallowing, 

And garbage-gorged ? And wheat is my reward 1 

The hate of men I would have died to serve, 

The persecution of the lying scribes, 

The gibes and insults of the ignorant mob, 

The scorn of fools, who love their beaten ways, 

Ev'n though they lead through mire and slags and thorns 

To wilderness and precipice and swamp, 

Better than newer pathways edged with flowers. 

I tell them peace is holier than war, 

And they would slay me for the heresy ; 

I tell them love is more divine than hate, 

And they detest me, and assault with lies ; 

I tell them God is love, and they invoke 

Ten thousand angry and insatiate fiends 
To launch their thunderbolts, and strike me dumb. 7 
' ' Thou wouldst reform the world reform thyself ! 
Thou art too zealous. Why should men efface 
Their old traditions, prejudices, laws, 

Ideas, manners, creeds, and forms of faith, 

Merely that thou shouldst build them up afresh 

On a new model, such as earth ne'er saw ? 

Men love the old they cling to what they learn'd 

From sires and grandsires, and from grandams too 

Thou canst not make blank pages of their hearts. 

For new philosophers to scribble on. 

The old, old writing, stereotyped, remains. 

A venerable lie outweighs the truth 

That only saw the daylight yesterday. 

An ancient error is a thing for love, 

Not to be outraged with impunity. 

What if men foolishly invoke on thee 

The fatal thunderbolts ? Will they descend 

Because they crave them ? Live unto thyself, 

To Nature, and to God, and let the world, 

Vicious or virtuous, roll as it is wont ! 

Hast thou a mission from Eternal Fate 

Which made mankind for good and not for ill 

lo make them, or re-make them, to thy bent ? 

If evil things take root, and fructify 

In the fat soil and substance of the heart 

Shalt thou be stronger than Omnipotence 

To weed them out ? Art thou more wise than God, 

Who, for His own wise purposes, permits 

Or makes the evil which thy soul deplores ? 

Shall man transform the imperfect earth to heaven, 

Or strive f anticipate the eternal day, 

u# of i llls xiDg ' but of God ' s al one, 

When he shall grow to the angelic height 
And wear the white robes of the serapmm ? 

' But let us talk no more of tilings like these 
I am aweary of misanthropy. ' 



EGERIA. 113 

I hate its look its words its whereabout ; 

I'd rather be a savage in the woods, 

And love my wife, my child, my friend, my dog, 

Than be a moon-struck mad philosopher, 

Sick of the world, disgusted with myself, 

Having no faith in man, in truth, or God. 

Time was when thou couldst laugh, and jest, and sing, 

Hear music, drink delight, make Turkish heaven, 

Draw inspiration from bright hazel orbs, 

Dote upon eyes of blue, and swear by black 

When thou couldst toy with flowing auburn locks, 

And beg a tress or curl of raven hair 

To make a brooch, a locket, or a ring 

When for a smile thou 'dst walk a hundred leagues, 

And for a kiss go mad as Anthony. 

Do so again do anything but this. 

I could endure the worst extravagance, 

All sensual outbreak all insane delight. 

Sooner than hatred. Oh ! I'm sick of Hate, 

And cordially detest Misanthropy/ 

* Bear with me, Montague, I am not sane, 
And yet, dear friend, I think I am not mad. 
There's something wrong : some small invisible hinge 
In mind or brain will neither ope nor shut ; 

My nerves are instruments of torturing pain ; 
I am a harp so utterly out of tune, 
That not Cecilia's self could draw a note 
Of heavenly melody from such a string.' 

* Repose ! and Nature's vivifying touch 
Shall bring thee healing. Thou art overwrought ; 
Give thyself holiday, and plod no more ; 

Take thy enjoyment on the quiet hills ; 
Bathe in the ocean surf upon the beach, 
Or hear sweet music in the birken bowers ; 
Roam in the field, the forest, or the mount, 
And whisper to the spirit of the wilds 
The soul of Nature, nymph Egeria. 
She is not dead : her oracles respond. 7 

1 EGERIA ! vision of the men of old ! 
Oh, that the dream might be reality ! 
That I could summon her ideal form, 
And track the spirit to her secret haunts, 
Communing with her upon earth and heaven, 
Another Numa ; draining from her lips 
Sweet reconcilement with the world and man !' 

' What if I summon'd her 1 and if my power 
Could, from the vague idea of thy brain, 
Shape her before thee, radiant, fair, and young ? 
Mine eyes behold her. Often, all alone, 
I've wandered with her through the trackless woods, 
I've sat beside her by the fountain's brim, 
8 



114 EGERIA. 

I've laid my head upon her tender breast, ' 
I've seen her thin robes floating on the wind, 
I've seen her shooting o'er the arch of heaven 
Bright as a meteor : on the thunder-cloud 
I've seen her riding : on the lightning flash 
I've seen her fly. In calm and storm alike, 
I've seen her skim the foam-bursts of the sea, 
Or glide to lily-bells and drop asleep, 
Or trail her garments hi the morning dew. 5 

1 Dreamer of dreams ! would I could dream like thou !' 

' Dreams grow realities to earnest men. 
It may be true, as old logicians taught, 
That Earth and all its shows and vanities, 
Thyself, myself, and all that we behold, 
Are dreams, projected on a bodiless mind. 
But no .'the world is hard and stubborn fact, 
A world of laws, of pains, and penalties, 
And dreams are spirits, wandering to and fro. 
To be embodied for behoof of those 
Who can make angels of them at their will. 
And so this dream, EGERIA, shall be 
A visible presence, to attune thy soul 
To purer harmony with God and man, 1 



CANTO II. THE FOUNTAIN. 

DEEP in the shade of high o'er-arching trees, 
Birches and beeches, elms and knotted oaks, 
A fountain murmur'd with a pleasant sound. 
Not often through those thick umbrageous leaves 
Pierced the full glory of the noon-day sun ; 
Not often through those pendulous branches hoar 
Ulitterd the mellow radiance of the moon. 
A cool dim twilight, with perpetual haze 
Crept through the intricate byways of the wood, 
And hung like vapour on the ancient trees 
Ihe place was musical with sweetest sounds 
Ihe fountain sang a soft monotonous song : 
ife,,? 8 and bran ches rustled to the wind 
With whisper'd melody ; the waving grass 
Answer'd the whisper in a softer tone : 
While morn and eve, the midnight and the noon 
Were listeners to the rapturous minstrelsy 
Of lark and linnet nightingale and thrusfi, 
And all the feathered people of the boughs. 

In this calm nook, secluded from the world, 
The marble statue of a nymph antique 
Stood m the shadow : radiant wereler limbs 



EGERIA. 115 

The full round arms and figure to the midst, 
Display'd the charm of chastest nudity ; 
A flowing drapery round her lower limbs, 
In ample folds conceaFd the loveliness, 
The majesty, and glory of the form. 
One hand was raised and pointed to the stars, 
The other, resting on her snow-white breast, 
Seeni'd as it felt the pulsing of her heart ; 
She stood the symbol of enraptured thought 
And holy musing. At her feet an urn 
Pour'd in a marble font a constant stream 
Of limpid water ; sacred seeni'd the place 
To philosophic and religious calm ; 
The very wind that stirr'd the upper boughs 
Seeni'd as attuned to choral harmonies. 
Upon the pedestal these words inscribed, 
In Grecian character reveal'd her name : 
' Egeria he who seeks her here, shall find ; 
' Love be his light, and purity his guide.' 

Thither at noon came Julian and his friend. 
1 Behold/ said Montague, ' the nymph divine ; 
The visible portraiture of her whose voice 
Pour'd healing, in the simple days of old, 
To Numa's soul, when he was sad as thou. 
Hast any faith in the unseen but true ? 
And canst thou free thy spirit from the yoke 
Of tilings material, gross, and palpable, 
And soar with mine beyond the bounds of sense ? ' 

' I have small faith,' said Julian ; ' sense to me 
Is the main anchor ; immaterial things 
Are less than shadows ; yet perchance they are. 

' Believe ! ' said Montague, ' and thou shalt learn ! 
My powerful will shall work a miracle. 
With mystic wave and passes of my hand, 
I'll pour upon thy spirit, and thy brain, 
Another sense more vigorous than sight ; 
And thou shalt see, what thou hast never seen, 
And thou shalt hear, what thou hast never heard ; 
And, in the kernel of the Universe, 
Behold the hidden causes at their work.' 

A smile incredulous o'er Julian's face 
Shot rapidly as light. ' I'll try thy skill. 
'Tis possible that I may drop to sleep ; 
Great is the magic of monotony ! 
If thou canst lull me hi mesmeric trance. 
And from thy fingers shed upon my brain 
The sense additional of spiritual sight, 
I'll own .the truths I may have long denied, 
And fix no limits to the possible. 
Go on, I would behold Egeria/ 



116 



EGERIA. 



Upon the rustic bench they sat them down, 
And Julian was aware of strength infused 
Into his eyes into his brain, and heart. 
Deep slumber clad him like a coat-of-mail, 
From which, awaking into fuller life, 
He felt that from his eyes a film had dropt. 
' An inward light pervaded all his frame ; 
A tremulous feeling of ecstatic joy 
Possess'd his spirit : ' This is happiness. 
I float I fly the music of the stars 
Rings in mine ears ; mine eyes behold the light 
The hidden things are dark to me no more.' 

The statue bent her eyes upon his face. 
And look'd upon him with benignant smile, 
And then, descending from the pedestal, 
Stood at his side in maiden bashfulness. 
' Julian/ she said, ' thou hast desired mine aid ; 
He who would woo me must be pure of heart, 
And look on Nature with a loving mind. 
The secrets of the Universe are closed 
To hatred, scorn, impurity, and guile. 
A little child can see them, while the man, 
A prey to passion, blinded by his pride, 
His groping knowledge, and his self-conceit, 
Walks in the darkness, and but dreams he sees.' 

' Spirit of Nature, let me be a child ! ' 

' Behold !' she said, and touch'd him on the eyes, 
And he was conscious of a power divine, 
Which gave him strength to feel and understand. 
, l Thou who art weary of the world and men, 
And makest moan of misery and wrong ; 
Thou who complainest of the doom of toil, 
The law of death, the penalty of pain, 
Deeming them evil, heavy burdens borne 
By man alone, the helot of the world- 
Behold, and learn!' 

He look'd, and at his feet, 
Above him, and around, on every side, 
He saw the tremor and the gush of life. 
Leaf spoke to leaf upon the tree-tops high, 
The knotted oak was comrade of the wind, 
And waved in pleasure its extremest boughs ; 
It spread its roots in earth, its arms in heaven 
With sense of being. Daisies in the sward 
Nodded their cups with joy ; the hare-bells blue 
bhook to the passing breezes with delight ; 
The very grass that nestled in the shade 
Knew it existed, and enjoy 'd its life. 
He look d again, and leaf, and blade, and flower 
Were populous with happy living things, 
ine hare-bell cup was spacious as a world: 



EGERIA. 117 



The rough rind of the sheltering oak-tree branch 
Supported in its tiny villages 
Myriads of creatures, borne on pinions bright, 
Resplendent with all colours interfused. 
The cricket chirr upp'd in his coat of mail ; 
The brisk cicada answer 5 d him aloud, 
And rubb'd the emerald armour of his thighs. 
The glittering beetle trod the yielding grass, 
Proud cf his panoply. The buzzing gnat, 
With jewell'd brow and feathers in her hair, 
Peal'd her triumphal horn. The nimble midge 
Danced as if dancing were supremest joy, 
And shook her wings in gladness. Butterflies, 
Conscious of beauty, sped from flower to flower, 
And flaunted in the aspect of the day 
Their robes of spangled tissue, fairer far 
Than ever caliph for his blushing bride 
Bought with the wealth of conquer'd provinces. 
And countless hosts of scarcely visible things 
Lived and were happy in each leaf and bud, 
In every crinkle of the oaken bark, 
In every dew-drop trembling on the flower. 
To them a world. Most beautiful were all, 
Whate'er their form, their structure, or their size : 
And Julian bless'd them for Egeria's sake. 

* Behold, once more !' the radiant spirit said. 
And lo ! fierce war through all the woodland raged. 
The emmets march'd their armies to the strife, 
And slew each other, as at Waterloo 
Insensate men destroyed their fellow-men, 
And all the ground was cover' d with the dead. 
The hungry finch pursued the butterfly ; 
The hawk, down swopping from mid-air, perceived 
The timid songster hidden in the boudis, 
And dealt the blow of death ; the spider spread 
His intricate web, to snare the gnat and fly, 
Proud of their finery ; the beetle's jaws 
Consumed whole nations for his noon-day meal ; 
The caterpillar crawl'd upon the leaf, 
Among the calm, unconscious aphides, 
Like Typhon 'mid the flocks of Sicily 
Gigantic horror prowl'd. * Complaining man/ 
Whisper* d Egeria, ' see the law of life. 
The grass must wither, and the flower must fall. 
The oak, whose rings mark centuries of growth, 
Must perish in its season. All this life, 
That sports and flutters in the breeze of heaven, 
Like thee has sense of happiness and joy 
Like thee must pay the penalty of pain 
Like thee it toils to live like thee supports 
The burden of the elements, and yields 
Obedience to the laws of time and space- 
And is, like thee, inheritor of Death ! ' 



' And all the stars V said Julian. ' Iii those orbs, 
That shine upon the forehead of the night 
With lustre so benign, is Death the lord ? 
Are toil and pain the lot of all who live 
In heaven, as on the earth ? ' 

EGERIA smiled. 

' The great condition of all life is Death. 
Wouldst have the bane, and not the antidote ? 
How couldst thou know the heat, if not for cold ? 
How comprehend the light, if not for dark ? 
How north, if not for south ? How could thy sense 
Interpret upwards, were it not for down ? 
Wouldst banish Death 1 Go back six thousand years, 
And make a world where Death should never come, 
A world without an evil or a toil, 
Without the polar principle of pain, 
And tell me what a hell such world would be ! 
Behold th' eternal and untoiling stones ; 
Pain cannot touch them : Death is impotent : 
O'er them the summer's heat and winter's cold 
Glide harmless ever. Happy are the stones ! 
Wouldst lower thy humanity to them, 
And fill thine earth, and the remotest stars, 
With senseless minerals ? Oh ! fair is Life 
Life, and her sister Death twin-born, co-rear'd, 
And co-existent to eternity.' 

'Oh, misery ! Oh, utter misery !' 
Said Julian, shuddering through all liis frame. 
' Are great Orion and the Pleiades, 
Arcturus, and the heavenly galaxy 
Is all this boundless universe of stars, 
This dread Infinitude of worlds and suns, 
One great pulsation of incessant pain ? 
Is Death indeed the universal lord'?' 

'And wherefore not ?' the spirit made reply. 
' Is Death not Life ? Why wilt thou close thy sense ? 
Is not thy rest the offspring of thy toil ? 
Is not thy labour pole of thy repose? 
And thine indulgence creature of thy need ?' 

' But pain,' said Julian, ' never-ending pain V 

' There is no pain but for the ignorant 

Pain is the friend and guardian of the wise/ 

Whisper'd the spirit. ' Wouldst thou place thy hand 

In the consuming and destroying fire, 

And ask it not to burn ? Wouldst fall from heights 

Upon the stony bosom of the earth, 

And ask it not to bruise ? Wouldst break the laws 

That govern and uphold the universe 

The modulations of harmonious heaven 

And, without knowledge of thy sacrifice, 



MGERIA. 119 

Destroy thy being? Wise, and good, and just 
Are all the laws and penalties of God.' 

' But these so beauteous and resplendent things 
That people littleness with various life ; 
Why should destruction, rapine, war, and wrong 
Engulf their myriads ? Have they sinn'd like men 1' 

1 Oh, blind oh, deaf oh, miserable soul ! ' 
Replied Egeria. ' Tell me, canst thou count 
The happy multitudes before thee spread 
In this one second of thine earthly time ? 
Wouldst fill the wholesome universe with flies, 
And make the air too thick for human breath ? 
Death is no evil. Cease, foolish man ! 
Thy querulous moaning, and consider Death 
No longer as thy foe. A ministering saint, 
Her hand shall guide thee, step by step, to God. 
Be worthy of her, and so learn to live, 
That every incarnation of thy soul, 
In other worlds, and spheres, and firmaments, 
Shall be more perfect. God's eternity 
Is thine to live in : on thyself depends 
Whether for pain or pleasure good or ill.' 

* Spirit of Nature, let me not complain ! 
Mine eyes are open'd. I behold a dawn. 
The glimmering radiance of a heavenly world 
Opens before me, infinitely good. 
Death is the mother of Life, and Life of Death. 
Attraction and repulsion heat and cold- 
Stagnation and progression good and ill 
Each is a perfect square that fits with each. 
And foolish man, whose small horizon ends 
Ere perfect knowledge of the truth begins, 
Denies the wonders that he cannot see; 
As grubs and earth-worms might deny the sun, 
Or flies ephemeral ignore the year.' 

CANTO III. THE STILL WATERS. 

AMID the water-lilies of the lake 

A boat sped noiselessly. The rowers twain 

Lay on their oars. Most lovely was the night. 

The round full moon reflected on the breast 

Of those calm waters her unclouded orb. 

The mountain tops were bathed in silver sheen. 

A holy silence, a divine repose, 

Slept on the waters, on the hills and skies. 

Nought but the ripple lapping on the boat 

Broke on the stillness. All the winds were hnsh'd. 

A deep serenity pervaded air. 

The silent stars, revolving evermore 

With ceaseless motion through the Infinitude, 

Preach'd to the soul their holy homilies 

Of little Time, and great Eternity. 



120 EGERIA. 

Here, on the bosom of this quiet lake,' 
Said Julian, whispering to his bride betroth'd, 
1 We sit in presence of the Universe. 
We three are to ourselves humanity. 
For us the moonlight sheds its ray benign 
For us the lake reposes in its calm, 
And the far mountains stand in purple gloom- - 
For us the awful stars look through the deep 
And infinite ether on their sister world, 
Creatures of power, and majesty, and joy, 
Each laden with its freight of life and death 
We three we happy three ! Oh, Ellen mine ! 
I have been victim of misanthropy 
I have despair'd of Man, of Earth, of Heaven ; 
But in the quiet beauty of this night, 
And in the sweet endearment of those eyes, 
I re-awake to happiness and love. 
Oh, Love ! fair mother of beatitude. 
How has my tongue blasphemed thine influence 
How has my heart denied thy holiness ! 
But I have seen the Spirit of the world, 
Talk'd with Egeria at her sacred fount, 
And learn'd in dreams that evil may be good, 
Had man the alchemy to work it out.' 

* We three we happy three,' said Montague, 
* If this thy saying, ponder it again. 
Didst never, thinking of the fate of man, 
His wisdom and his ignorance, discern 
The three-fold nature of his mortal life 
The balance, and the perfect harmony 
Of three, the holy number of the world ? 
Past, Present, Future, merging into one 
And one for ever in the Eternal Mind ? 
Beginning middle end the sum of things ? 
Foundation, superstructure, and the roof, 
The three necessities that form the house ? 
The rise, the culmination, and the fall ? 
The blossom, the fruition, and the seed ? 
The heart to love, the brain to understand, 
The hand to execute? All these are three, 
But one in harmony of great design. 
All colours haunt the centre of the prism. 
Truth, Beauty, Goodness Goodness, Beauty, Truth 
Mingle for ever into one sweet tune- 
The mystic music of the universe. 
; Tis our allotted task upon the earth 
To pluck the mystery out, and make it plain, 
And so to balance, in our deed and thought 
Beauty with Truth, and Goodness with them both, 
That all our being, fused in harmony, 
May make sweet music at the throne of God. 

'Behold the Truth, how heavenly fair is she 



JBGERIA. 121 

How perfect in herself ! how great ! how small ! 
The heaven of heavens cannot contain her form, 
And yet the atom toss'd upon the wind, 
Or trampled by the insect in its walk, 
Enfolds her majesty. Truth manifold, 
Consistent, universal, self-sustain'd ; 
Her smallest fragment is a world complete, 
And every fragment fits into the chain, 
Which girdles Heaven and holds Eternity. 

* Beauty, divinest attribute of things. 
How true is she ! The falsehood of a line 
Mars her perfection. Earth's creative soul, 
She fashions Nature in her heavenly mould, 
And men and angels worship at her feet. 
Her smiles are light, her words are harmonies, 
Her touch is rapture. Heaven is full of her, 
And Earth does homage to her power divine, 
Through all gradations of its teeming life, 
From meanest animalcule of the dust, 

To the completest organism of man. 

4 And Goodness, crown and centre of the arch, 
How heavenly beautiful, how true is she ! 
Without her aid, Truth were not possible, 
And Beauty's self would grow deformity. 

* The perfect man were he the man unborn 
In whom these three with a divine accord 
Centred and poised. Threefold our natures are, 
That we may cultivate the germ of each ; 

And he, whatever be his name or fame, 

His wealth or station, power or circumstance, 

Who fails in either, is the less a man.' 

1 1 see thy thought,' said Julian. ' Sane and strong, 
The perfect man, if such a man could be 
To shame the poor abortions of our time, 
Would stand in all his physical attributes, 
Beauteous as young Apollo of the Greeks, 
Might in his hand, and glory on his brow ; 
In all his moral attributes as good 
As the divine exemplar of mankind ; 
In intellectual majesty as true 
As fabled Pallas. If such men there were, 
Not erring man, but angel, were his name.' 

' Be it our task,' said Montague, ' to strive 
To climb this far and fair ideal height. 
We may not reach it, but all efforts made, 
Bring us the nearer to the mountain top. 
To such a man how excellent were life ! 
His life how excellent to all his kind ! 
To him all nature would pay fealty. 
His many-sided heart and intellect 



122 EGE1UA. 

Would draw the sustenance of hope and joy 
From seeming evil. Him the Heavens would love, 
Him would the Earth receive as king and lord, 
Him would each plastic circumstance obey, 
Him would all charities, and kindly deeds, 
Crown and ennoble. Him, though men denied, 
Or scorn'd or hated, would an inner power 
Raise to a height beyond the reach of harm/ 

' Who shall attain such heavenly altitude 1 ' 
Said mournful Julian, dubious of himself. 
' Alas ! we are the slaves of circumstance. 
Our fathers and forefathers, not ourselves, 
Shaped not alone our outward lineaments, 
'And gave us strength, and fears, and weaknesses 
But moulded to the fashion of their own, 
Our hearts and characters. Who shall escape 
The thraldom of his country and his time ? 
Who shall be wiser than the living age 1 
Men's hearts are blurred, and blotted, and defaced 
And all their primal purity is lost. - 

No dye shall make the blackness white again 
No hand uplift them. The unhappy Jews 
Who crucified the Lord of Heaven and Earth 
Were but the types of modern prejudice ; 
For were the Saviour to descend again, 
Amid the money-changers of our marts, 
To preach the doctrine that he taught before, 
The self-adoring hypocrites would swarm 
In every market-place, and shout his name 
With curses on his innovating creed ; 
And slay him, if they could, a second time. 
| Love them that hate you," spake the word Divine j 
'Do good for evil ; take no heed of days ; 
Nor make long prayers in presence of the crowd. 
The Lord provideth for the trusting heart 
Behold the white-robed lilies of the field, 
Shall He who clothes them in their loveliness 
And feeds the sparrow, not provide for you ? 
Love one another. If your brother smite, 
Smite not again ; but turn the wounded cheek 
And shame him with the light of charity " 
Though many preach, how few perform the law ! 
, Where is the Christian of our Christendom ? 
Eyes cannot see him-sense discover him. 
The very Christian in all deed and thought 
Existed in this wretched world but once! 
And He was hated, scourged, and crucified!' 

'Perchance thou'rt right ; but from thy point of view 
All is misanthropy. His kingdom comes P 
Why hate mankind, because they are mankind 
And will not march so rapidly to truth 
As in thine eager haste thou'dst have them run ? 



&GER1A. 123 

Poor insect, fluttering for a summer's day 

Upon the glassy bosom of a pool, 

Canst thou conceive the dread profundity 

Of the Atlantic or Pacific seas 1 

What is thy life, that in its little space 

Thou wouldst accomplish what a thousand years 

May fail to work ; but which, in God's good time, 

Shall dawn upon the long-benighted world 7 

Thou art too sanguine for philosophy, 

And too intolerant of others' faults, 

To preach the faith of Christian charity. 

Reform thyself, and poise thy nature well : 

The perfect balance shall restore thy peace, 

And reconcile thee with humanity.' 

' I have no hatred of my fellow-men, 
But pity for their callous ignorance 
Their obstinate prejudice their hopeless wrong. 
But let them grope, and wander where they list, 
Why should I strive to guide them, and still vex 
My heart and spirit with their stubbornness ? 
I will contract my circle to my home, 
And live for duty, loving and beloved ; 
And if I shed within that little sphere 
The light of happiness, I'll be content, 
And leave my conscience in the hands of God. 7 

Upon him Ellen turn'd her beaming eyes, 
Suffused with hopeful joy. Their souls were one. 
True love had conquer'd false philosophy 
' I'll tell thee, Julian, of an apologue, 
Said she, and blush'd all crimson at the sound 
Of her own voice amid the disputants. 

* In ancient time, two acorns, in their cups, 
Shaken by winds and ripeness from the tree, 
Dropp'd side by side into the ferns and gp-ass : 
"Where have I fall'n to what base region come?" 
Exclaim'd the one. " The joyous breeze no more 
Rocks me to slumber on the sheltering bough ; 
The sunlight streams no longer on my face ; 
I look no more from altitudes serene 
Upon the world reposing far below, 
Its plains, its hills, its rivers, and its woods. 
To me the nightingale sings hymns no more ; 
But I am made companion of the worm, 
And rot on the chill earth. Around me grow 
Nothing but useless weeds, and grass, and fern, 
Unfit to hold companionship witn me. 
Ah, me ! most wretched ! rain, and frost, and dew, 
And all the pangs and penalties of earth, 
Corrupt me where I lie degenerate/' 
And thus the acorn made its daily moan. 

( The other raised no murmur of complaint, 



124 EGERIA. 

And iook'd with no contempt upon the grass, 

Nor call'd the branching fern a worthless weed, 

Nor scorn' d the woodland flowers that round it blew. 

All silently and piously it lay 

Upon the kindly bosom of the earth, 

It bless'd the warmth with which the noon-day sun 

Made fruitful all the ground ; it loved the dews, 

The moonlight and the snow, the frost and rain, 

And all the change of seasons as they pass'd. 

It sank into the bosom of the soil : 

The bursting life, enclosed within its husk, 

Broke through its fetters ; it extended roots, 

And twined them freely in the grateful ground ; 

It sprouted up, and Iook'd upon the light ; 

The sunshine fed it ; the embracing air 

Endow'd it with vitality and stren^h ; 

The rains of heaven supplied it nourishment ; 

And so from month to month, and year to year, 

It grew in beauty and in usefulness, 

Until its large circumference enclosed 

Shelter for flocks and herds ; until its boughs 

Afforded homes for happy multitudes. 

The dormouse, and the chaffinch, and the jay, 

And countless myriads of minuter life ; 

Until its bole, too vast for the embrace 

Of human arms, stood in the forest depths. 

The model and the glory of the wood : 

Its sister acorn perish'd in its pride/ 

* I thank thee, Ellen, for the apologue. 
Thine acorn lived its life, and so will I. 
Be thou my sunshine, and I'll live to thee ; 
And in our shadow, kindly charities 
Shall make a daily blessing of our place/ 



CANTO IV. THE UPLAND STREAM. 

' THE summer morning is not far advanced/ 
Said Julian to his comrade Montague ; 
'The wind blows freshly, wilt thou trace with me 
The mountain rill that tumbles from the height, 
So upwards to the mountain top afar? ' 

' Right willingly ; the joyous exercise 
bhall give our limbs new vigour : every step 
Lead us to calmer heights and purer air. 
I love the exploration of a stream, 
Upwards, still upwards, to its infant source, 
A life epitome ; here, smooth the path 
And easy to the feet ; here, difficult ' 
O er crags, and stones, and jutting precipice 
Here in a pool the quiet water sleeps 
Like happy days which thou and I have pass'd 
There, down a gully of the rifted rock 



EGERIA. 125 

Dashes and hurries, like those passionate hours 
That we experience when our blood is hot, 
TTncool'd by reason, suffering, and time. 
Here, cupola'd by mingling ash and birch ; 
There, open to the sunlight and the breeze, 
And redolent of hawthorn blooms and thyme, 
Bog-myrtle, and the wild valerian. 
Let us ascend : I'll bear thee company, 
And leave Egeria at her fount below. 

' Not so her spirit shall consort with mine. 
I have no need of thy mesmeric sleights 
To summon to my presence, when I will, 
The beautiful Egeria of my dreams. 
For me she lives and moves for me she speaks 
For me she sings celestial melodies. 
It wants but effort of the active mind 
To people Earth and Heaven with ministering sprites. 
The young Aurora, with her rosy cheeks; 
Sits, as of yore, at portals of the morn ; 
And thoughtful Hesper, with her starry eyes, 
Looks, as in olden time, from day to night, 
And makes both beautiful. Still in each oak, 
As poets feigu'd, the Hamadryads dwell, 
And whisper music from the rustling leaves. 
Still on the mountain slopes the Oreads roam, 
And course the fleeting shadows of the clouds. 
Still on the beach of the sonorous main 
The youthful Nereids sport the live-long day, 
Or dance by moonlight, when the tide at ebb 
Leaves on the sands a circle wide enough 
To form the flexile chain of linking hands, 
And feet sequential to the harmony 
Peal'd by the invisible minstrels of the deep. 
Still every fountain, every rill and stream, 
Possesses in its cool translucent breast 
A guardian spirit, who can talk and sing, 
And utter oracles to thoughtful men. 

.' The old thoughts never die. Immortal dreams 
Outlive then: dreamers, and are ours for aye. 
No thought once form'd and utter'd can expire. 
The lovely shapes that olden fancy drew 
Are still the comrades of unworldly men, 
And palpable to sight. All life decays, 
And Death transforms it into newer life 
With other features but Eternal Thought 
Defies decay. Egeria is as young 
To thee and me, as in the ancient time, 
When she appeared to Numa in the grove 
And taught him wisdom : on her open brow 
Three thousand years have striven in vain to leave 
The slightest wrinkle. As she was, she is.' 



126 EGER1A. 

1 Thoughts are immortal ? I deny it not. 
But what/ said Montague, ' were Numa's thoughts, 
Inscribed in secret in those mystic tomes, 
Which, buried with him for four hundred years, 
Were brought to daylight by a busy fool 
Bead, judged, condemn'd, and burn'd ingloriously, 
Because one blockhead deem'd them dangerous 
To the false gods and prejudice of RoineV 

' They live/ said Julian. ' All that Numa learn'd 
From solitary converse in the wilds, 
With the fair spirit of the breathing world, 
Others have learn'd. The lesson is the same. 
The voice of Nature ever preaches truth : 
And Numa's truths, too mighty for his age, 
Revived again. All thinkers, sages, bards, 
Draw inspiration from the self -same source, 
And sing in harmony the same old song ; 
Still old, still new. But we, discoursing here, 
Will lose our morning. If our feet must scale 
The craggy altitudes of these steep hills, 
Four thousand feet above yon flowing tide, 
We must ascend betimes, ere noon-day heats 
Make climbing difficult. Let us depart 
With flask in pocket, ashen staff hi hand ; 
We'll meet Egeria on the mountain top/ 

So forth they went to trace the upland rill, 
Discoursing as they went. The cloudless mom 
Was redolent of sweets. High in the air, 
Over his nest, the lark made psalmody. 
The early bee, contented labourer, 
Plied upon thistle-tops and heather-bells 
His earnest task. All nature was astir, 
Busy, and happy. Every living thing 
Enjoyed its life. The pure and genial air 
The brisk, free exercise, and change of scene 
Each scene new beauty brought to Julian's cheeks 
The glow of health: with health came calmer thought 
And happier fancies, unremember'd long. 

They stood awhile beside a waterfall, 
And watch'd in silence the descending stream, 
Pouring the flood adown a precipice, 
In foam-flakes silvery as the mountain snow, 
And scattering upon either side the spray 
That fed the yellow lichens of the rock, 
And sprinkled moisture to the feathery fern, 
And all the undergrowth of herb and flower. 

' I've not forgot/ said Julian, ' thy reproof, 
That I was over-sanguine to be wise, ' 
And hatch'd my theories with fruitless haste. 
Yet, when I think how slow a thing is Truth 



EGERIA. 127 

Slow but immortal I could weep to see 

How slight and powerless a thing is man. 

Behold this leaping streamlet that we track ! 

Adown these self-same rocks, in self-same course, 

Its flood has pour'd, since Caesar out of Gaul 

Landed in Kent amid the savages. 

When Numa closed in his barbaric Rome 

The gates of Janus, and taught Peace and Love 

To the fierce Romans, still this streamlet ran 

With the same music that it makes for us. 

When Sardanapalus in the flame expired, 

These harmless waters trickled down the hill. 

When Cheops if a Cheops ever were 

Built the first pyramid, this mountain brook 

Sang to the winds the same rejoicing tune, 

That, leaping down the rocks, it sings for me. 

When Moses worshipp'd upon Sinai's peak, 

The spray of this glad torrent strew'd around 

Verdure and mosses, and the fresh spring flowers. 

When Abram's herdsmen, and the hinds of Lot, 

QuarrelTd for pasture lands, this brooklet flow'd, 

A thing of beauty to the bathing birds, 

That then, as now, dipp'd in its cooling breast 

Their ruffled plumes. When Nimrod built his tower, 

And ask'd the insurgent multitude to bend 

In adoration of the majesty 

Of him, first tyrant, first monopolist, 

First king that claim'd to rank among the gods, 

These waters, from the hill-top to the sea, 

Ran 'twixt these banks. When Noah and his sons 

Came down from Ararat with bird and beast, 

The murmur of this stream amid the grass 

Made pleasant music in angelic ears. 

* In all that time, whilst men have lived and died, 
And generations perish'd like the leaves 
With which the nipping Autumn strews the ground ; 
Whilst mighty empires rose, and lived their day 
And, like small cressets, sick for want of oil, 
Flicker^! and vanish' d into utter dark ! 
Where is the moral and religious truth 
Which, promulgated then, has run the round 
Of men and nations ? Tell me is there one ? 
I know it not. But in this gulf of Time 
How many fatal errors have been born, 
And reach'd their full maturity of harm, 
To blind the physical and mental sight, 
And sully with obscurity, and haze, 
The primal beauty of the Intellect !' 

1 7 Tis even so/ said Montague ; ' yet still 
A progress has been made. The human race 
Advances palpably in its career. 



128 EGEEIA. 

Old errors fall, and old truths, seeming new, 
Shine on the nations with a steadier light, 
And point the way from sloughs of Ignorance 
To the firm ground where they must stand at last." 

They sat them down upon a boulder stone 
In the mid-channel of the chafing stream, 
And bathed their faces in a limpid pool 
Scoop'd by the Waters of a thousand years 
In the hard bosom of the porphyry rock ; 
And, resting for awhile in the ascent, 
Refresh'd then- throats with moisture. As they sat, 
A bee alighting on a clover-tuft 
Ceased for an instant its laborious hum, 
And peered in petals of the purple flower 
With busy pleasure. ' There/ said Montague, 
' Yon little insect, wiser than mankind, 
Might teach the world a lesson that it needs/ 

' What ! in its ruthless murder of the drones, 
And pampering of a fat luxurious queen ? 

* Not so ; but in its love of daily toil 
A toil unselfish. In the social hive 
One labours for the whole community, 
And the community for every one. 
Toil is their joy : but intellectual man, 
Not comprehending God's all-wise decree, 
Pass'd, not in vengeance, but in love divine, 
Deems toil a curse, and throws the burden off 
Upon his weaker brother if he can. 
Hence pride and pomp, and arrogance and sloth, 
And myriad evils which the wise deplore. 
Hence slavery and modern selfishness, 
And over-reaching, grinding, cheating Trade, 
And Mammon- worship in all odious forms 
The degradation of humanity. 
" Each for himself and the Great God for all," 
Exclaim the people. Is the doctrine wise ? 
Better, far better, if the world would say 
" Each man for all men the Great God for each.'* 
Oh ! what a great and glorious thing is work, 
Did man with wisdom look upon the world ! 
All Earth and Heaven the teeming Universe 
Exist by labour. The majestic sun 
Revolves for ever, shedding life and joy 
To all the minor orbs that round him burn ; 
For them he labours, and for them exists, 
And they for him, in mutual harmony. 
The firmaments and galaxies, thick strewn 
O'er infinite space, obey the same behest. 
Labour for ever, is their law of life ; 
Their labour, happiness. From great to small, 
From small to smallest things invisible, 



EGERIA. 129 



The law of Labour rules the happy world. 
But man, the misinterpreter of God, 
Perverts this chiefest blessing to a curse, 
And makes his brother labour overmuch, 
That he may slumber and grow fat in sloth, 
Misusing earth, his brother, and himself.' 

' Ay ! it is sad/ said Julian, ' to reflect 
That sixty centuries have faiPd to teach 
The dignity, the beauty, and the joy, 
The piety and usefulness of work ! 
J Tis but excess of labour that is pain 
Just as excess of food, or wine, or rest 
Or any blessing that mankind abuse. 
The many toil, till strength and spirit fail, 
And the heart sickens ; not that they may live, 
But that a selfish and degenerate few 
May fatten on the harvest of their bones. 
How shall the many in their daily need, 
Their slavery to the physical wants of flesh, 
Rise from the degradation of their lot ? 
It needs morality for men to know, 
That, though they grovel, they might stand erect ; 
And that the slave might, if he would, be free. 
It needs the intellect to point the way, 
And lead the stumbling groper into light. 
And how shall Earth's unhappy multitudes, 
Savage or cultured, swarth or white of skin, 
Slaves to a bodily toil that knows no end, 
Balance the threefold nature of their life, 
If every feeling, energy, and wish 
Be center'd in an agony for bread 1 
How shall the manners grow, the heart expand ? 
How shall the crawling intellect be taught 
To soar with golden wings, and face the sun ? 
Oh ! we have started badly in the race, 
Turn'd God's primeval bounty to a wrong, 
Lowered our dignity, despised our Earth, 
Competed with our brother as a foe, 
And, like to starving sailors on a raft, 
Floating forlorn upon a stormy deep, 
Have look'd with hungry eyes of savage greed 
On one another, saying in our hearts 
" What matters who may die, if I may live ?" 
Alas ! alas ! there is no remedy !' 

' Believe it not ! the old traditions fade, 
And in the fulness of the appointed time, 
Men shall awaken into purer life. 
But let us onwards ! Far above our heads 
The mountain looms. We must forsake the rill, 
So long the fair companion of our way, 
And brace our strength to scale the granite peak, 
That towers in naked majesty afar ; 



130 EGEEIA. 

The clouds beneath it, the blue heavens above, 
Looking o'er ocean, and the ambient land, 
Hill paramount, and watch-tower of the clime/ 

CANTO 7. THE MOUNTAIN TOP. 

A GLORIOUS vision burst upon their sight, 
As on the topmost peak they took their stand, 
To gaze from that clear centre on the world, 
And measure with their proud delighted eyes 
The vast circumference, whose radius stretch' d, 
Seaward and landward, each for fifty miles ! 

Beneath their feet a burnish'd ocean lay, 
Glittering in sunshine. Far adown, like snow, 
Shook from the bosom of a wintry cloud, 
And drifting on the wind in feathery flakes 
The sea-gulls sail'd betwixt the earth and sky, 
Or, floating on the bosom of the deep, 
Pursued the herring shoal with dexterous aim. 

Far, far away on the horizon's edge, 
The white sails of the homeward scudding ships 
Gleam'd like the lilies in a garden plot, 
Or like the scattered shreds of fleecy cloud 
Left by the Evening at the gate of Night, 
To shimmer in the leaden-colour'd sky, 
And drink the splendour of the harvest moon, 
Their glancing breasts reflected from afar 
The noonday sunlight. 

Landward when they look'd, 
The earth beneath them seeni'd as it had boil'd, 
And toss'd, and heaved, in some great agony : 
Till suddenly, at fiat of the Lord, 
The foaming waves had hardened into hills, 
And mountains, multitudinous and huge, 
Of jagged outline, piled and overpiled. 
One o'er the other. Calmly the gray heads 
Of these earth-fathers pointed up to heaven ; 
Titanic sentinels, who all the night 
Look at then: kindred sentinels, the stars, 
To hear the march and tramp of distant worlds, 
And measure by millenniums, not by years, 
The awful growth and progress of the time ! 
Between the bases of the lesser hills, 
Green valleys, musical with lowing lone, 
And water'd by the upland overflow, 
Stretch'd in their beauty. In the hollows slept 
Clear lakes, which from those azure heights appear'd 
Small as the basins where the Oreads 
Might bathe, at morning-burst, their tender limbs. 
Most beautiful the nearer landscape lay 
The distant panorama, more confused, 
Melted away in purple haziness. 



EGERIA. 131 

{ I am so happy in such scenes as these, 
And yet so sad, and so dissatisfied/ 
Said Julian, gazing on the quiet sea. 
' I feel one moment I could leap for joy, 
And in the next, that I could lay me clown 
And weep that my enjoyment is so small, 
And that such beauty and sublimity, 
Such glory and such wonder, should not be 
Part of myself for ever. Oh, thou Deep ! 
Rolling beneath me thine eternal waves, 
I feel myself thine equal, as I stand 
And look upon thee from a height like this, 
With thronging thoughts no tongue may ever speak ! 
Thou blue sky ! circling all in thine embrace ; 
Oh, how I envy the air-cleaving wings 
Of Alpine eagles, and the liberty 
Of motion, unrestrain'd by clogs of Earth ! 
Ye hills, I love ye ! Oh, ye mountain tops ! 
Lifting serenely your transcendent brows 
To catch the earliest glimpses of the dawn, 
And hold the latest radiance of 'the West, 
To gild you with its glory, while the world 
Hastens to slumber in the glooms below ; 
It is a pain to know ye, and to feel, 
That nothing can express the deep delight 
With which your beauty and magnificence 
Fill to o'erflowing the ecstatic mind. 

' Spirit of Nature ! Nymph Egeria ! 
Here is thy home ; appear, and lend me words 
To hymn my reverence and gratitude ! 
I feel thy presence in my brain and heart ; 
; Tis with thine eyes I see ; 'tis with thine ears 
I hear the murmurs of that mighty deep, 
Where float the planets and the galaxies. 
Oh, give me words ; give me still keener sight, 
And let me understand tne hidden things, 
The holy mysteries, thou must have heard 
In thy communion with the Universe. 
Spirit of Nature ! Holiest ! I am thine ! 

His rapture overcame him as he spoke ; 
And, on the mountain top, he fell supine, 
In a half slumber, fill'd with blessedness. 

'Twas but few minutes. Montague knelt down, 
And gather'd from a crevice of the rock 
A little handful of the virgin snow, 
That in the shadows of this lonely place 
Had lain all Summer, sheltered from the heat. 
With this he rubb'd his forehead and his hands, 
And call'd him by his name. The consciousness, 
Entranced and wandering, but not destroyed, 
Blazed o'er his spirit with a sudden flash. 
'Didst thou not see her, Montague ?' he said. 



132 EGEEIA. 

'I think, like M&homet, I've been in Heaven, 
Caught in a rapture to the firmament ! 
How long upon this awful mountain top 
Hast thou been with me ?' 

'Not one little hour/ 

His friend replied ; ' and, not ten minutes since, 
Thou stood'st apostrophizing Earth and Heaven, 
Madden'd and reeling in an ecstasy.' 

' 'Tis strange, dear Montague ? vet must be so ! 
But in those minutes I have trod the floors 
Of heavenly places ; heard angelic things ; 
And, guided by Egeria, have seen 
A vision of the world, that was, that is, 
And shall be in the fulness of the time.' 

' Tell me the vision. I remember well/ 
Said Montague, ' when I was in my teens, 
I rode a fiery charger to the chase, 
And the beast stumbled, though I know not how, 
And threw me to the ground. I felt no pain 
But in a quiet and delicious sleep 
Lay with a bleeding forehead in the mire. 
One minute only or, it might be, less. 
In that one minute I became a child, 
And, going back a dozen years of time, 
Wander'd upon the margin of the sea, 
And gathered shells and tangle on the beach ; 
Cull'd garlands by the verdant meadow paths, 
And plaited rushes for a rural crown 
Begemm'd with poppies and convolvulus. 
I swam in rivers, proud of growing strength, 
And moped in colleges my years away. 
And then I wanderd in a moonlight night, 
Breathing sweet folly to a willing maid, 
And clasp'd her soft and unretiring hand, 
With pleasure which no waking could afford, 
Looking for answers in her eloquent eyes 
To thoughts, unspoken still, but understood. 
A groom, officious, roused me from my trance, 
And raised me on the sward to bathe my brow 
It seem d an age since I had dropp'd asleep, 
.But there, beside me, stood the panting horse ! 
1 vaulted on his back, unhurt though bruised 
And since that day have clung to the belief 
lhat time is but the creature of our thought, 
And that the ages pass'd by Mahomet 
ifire his descending pitcher reach'd the ground, 
Were palpable realities to him, 
And ran in actual cycles through his brain. 
But I detain thee. Let me heir thy dream/ 

4 Scarce had I call'd upon Egeria's name, 
When to my sight upon the mountain top 
In beauty and in glory she appear'd. 
I saw thee not. The crimson-colour'd sun 



EGERIA. 133 



Had sought his bright pavilion in the west, 
And left the world in darkness. Earth and sea 
Lay in the shadow of gloom, invisible. 
I was alone with Nature and the stars, 
Alone, alone, and humbled in the sight 
Of worlds, and galaxies, and firmaments, 
And nebulae upon the verge of space, 
Whose light, far reaching to our little globe, 
Struck on mine eyes, not as it shines to-day, 
But as it shone when those swift travelling beams 
Seventy millenniums down the abyss of Time 
Sped to this juvenile and petty orb. 

1 Egeria's face was radiant as she turn'd 
Her eyes upon me in that lonely place. 
Her right hand pointed to the sparkling sky, 
As on the crag slie stood, white-robed and pure, 
And clear denned against the dark-blue heaven. 
The northern streamers, t'wards the polar star, 
Shot their electric threads of throbbing light, 
The banners of Eternity, that wave 
Over the worlds and systems in their march 
Accordant with the music of the spheres. 
Egeria spake not ; and my lips refused 
To utter all the wild and billowy thoughts 
That overpowered their faculty of speech, 
And made them dumb but I observed with awe, 
And listened with intensity, to catch 
The lightest whispers of her heavenly tongue. 
Upon a sudden aU the mountain slope 
Grew luminous, and I could hear the sound 
Of sweet sad voices singing mournful songs. 
" Thou calledst I have come : " Egeria said. 
" List what my sister spirits ever sing 
To those who nave the privilege to hear ; 
A privilege for ever earn'd in pain. 
And purchased by affliction, and deep thought, 
By doubts, and fears, and silent agonies." 

' I listen'd as she bade, and soft and clear, 
I heard the angelic voices whisper words 
Of mild expostulation with my soul. 
These were their accents, if my sense can frame, 
In human speech, such high and holy song : 

Why this longing, clay-clad spirit ? 

Why this fluttering of thy wings ? 

Why this striving to discover 

Hidden and transcendant things ? 

Be contented hi thy prison ; 

Thy captivity shall cease ; 

Taste the good that smiles before thee ; 

Restless spirit, be at peace ! 

With the roar of wintry forests, 





~ 1 ____ A __ > 



134 EGERIA. 

"With the rush of stormy waters, 
Thou wouldst sympathize, soul ! 
Thou wouldst ask them mighty questions 
In a language of their own, 
TJntranslateable to mortals, 
Yet not utterly unknown. 

Thou wouldst fathom Life and Being, 
Thou wouldst see through Birth and Death, 
Thou wouldst solve the eternal riddle 
Thou, a speck, a ray, a breath ! 
Thou wouldst look at stars and systems, 
As if thou couldst understand 
All the harmonies of Nature, 
Struck by an Almighty hand. 

With thy feeble logic, tracing 
Upwards from effect to'cause, 
Thou art f oil'd by Nature's barriers, 
And the limits of her laws. 
Be at peace, thou struggling spirit ! 
Great Eternity denies 
The unfolding of its secrets 
To the circle of thine eyes. 

Be contented with thy freedom 

Dawning is not perfect day ; 

There are truths thou canst not fathom, 

Swaddled in thy robes of clay. 

Rest in hope that if thy circle 

Grow not wider here in Time, 

God's Eternity shall give thee 

Power of vision more sublime. 

Clogg'd and bedded in the darkness, 
Little germ, abide thine hour ! 
Thou'lt expand, in proper season, 
Into blossom, into flower. 
Humble faith alone becomes thee 
In the glooms where thou art lain : 
Bright is the appointed future ; 
Wait ; thou shalt not wait in vain ! 

Cease thy struggling, feeble spirit ! 
Fret not at thy prison bars ; 
Never shall thy mortal pinions 
Make the circuit of the stars. 
Here on Earth are duties for thee 
Suited to thine earthly scope ; 
Seek them, thou Immortal Spirit 
God is with thee, work in Hope ! 

' The voices ceased. EGERIA laid her hand 



EGERIA. 135 

'Twas sad to look upon. The Earth was fill'd 

With hate and murder, cruelty and wrong ; 

Dense Ignorance pervaded all the lands. 

The strong were tyrants, and the weak were slaves. 

Foul Superstition stupefied the mind ; 

The sanguinary priests of odious gods 

Ruled men by terror ; human sacrifice 

Polluted with its smoke the sicken'd air, 

And constant war strew'd earth with bones and blood. 

' It yanish'd and I saw the actual world 
Spreading beneath me all its climes and lands. 
'Twas robed in purer splendour. Time had wrought 
Beneficent changes in the hearts of men ; 
But a great problem, which the ages past 
Had never posed, was clamorous to be solved ; 
How mighty populations were to live 
In narrow area, by the ancient rule 
Of competition each man against each ? 
And whether union, often tried by men 
For purpose of destruction, war, and wrong, 
Might not, if tried for purposes of peace, 
Construction, industry, and mutual aid, 
Lead the sad nations of a world effete 
From darkness into light from sea to land 1 
The mighty truths were gushing into flower, 
Old evils lived, but deadly war had sprung 
Betwixt the embattled hosts of Right and Wrong, 
And Victory was sitting in the clouds, 
Uncertain of the issue. When this pass'd, 
A brighter vision broke upon my soul 
The promised reign of righteousness had come 
The lion and the lamb lay down in peace, 
The nations turn'd their swords to jpruning-hooks 
And studied War no more. The Law of Love 
Made other law a useless formula. 
Labour was pleasure, Duty was delight, 
God was sole king, and every human heart 
Gave Him allegiance. 

I beheld no more. 

And, turning to Egeria, kiss'd the hem 
Of her white garments. " Mortal man," she said, 
" Too long bewilder'd in the mazes dun 
Of false philosophies, thy path grows clear ! 
Descend again into the world of life 
And take new guidance. Let philosophy 
Attune as erst thy solitary hours 
To harmonies, unheard by worldly ears ; 
But let^true Piety thy guardian be, 
The guide and the companion of thy days. 

' " Piety ! heavenly Piety !] 
She is not rigid as fanatics deem, 
But warm as Love, and beautiful as Hope. 



136 EGERIA. 



1 " 



1 Prop ot the weak, the crown of humbleness, 
The clue of doubt, the eyesight of the blind, 
The heavenly robe and garniture of clay ! 

* " He that is crown'd with that supernal crown, 
Is lord and sovereign of himself and Fate, 
And angels are his friends and ministers. 

' " Clad in that raiment, ever white and pure, 
The wayside mire is harmless to defile, 
And rudest storms sweep impotently by. 

* " The pilgrim wandering amid crags and pits, 
Supported by that staff shall never fall : 
He smiles at peril and defies the storm. 

* " Shown by that clue, the doubtful path is clear, 
The intricate snares and mazes of the world 
Are all unlabyrinth'd and bright as day. 

4 " Sweet Piety ! divinest Piety ! 
She has a soul capacious as the spheres, 
A heart as large as all Humanity. 

' " Who to his dwelling takes that visitant, 
Has a perpetual solace in all pain, 
A friend and comforter in every grief. 

* " The noblest domes, the haughtiest palaces, 
That know not her, have ever open gates 
Where Misery may enter at her will. 

* " But from the threshold of the poorest hut, 
Where she sits smiling, Sorrow passes by, 
And owns the spell that robs her of her sting." 

' Once more upon me, with benignant smile, 
EGERIA look'd, and might have spoken more, 
But that thy hand aroused me from the trance 
Of heavenly ecstasy in which I lay. 

* Let us descend the rugged mountain side ; 
To-morrow I shall mingle with the world, 
And do my part as shall become a man. 
With thy fair sister for my wife and friend, 
I will indulge no more in dreams like these, 
Nor feed my spirit on the airy food 
Of speculation. Welcome, busy Earth ! 
I'll plough thee 1 till thee ! from thy bosom draw 
Wealth for the needy, raiment for tne bare, 
And for the widow and the fatherless 
The sustenance and blessing that they crave ! 
Welcome to bodily and mental toil ! 
Welcome to duty ! welcome to my kind ! 
The world is mine to hold and to enjoy 
I'll live to nature and confide in Heaven ! ' 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 
A LEGEND OF AUSTRALIA, 1856- 



PART THE FIRST. 



'WHERE shall I hide myself ? 

Lost and undone ! 
A beggar an outcast 

Insulting the Sun ! 
Oh ! Yesterday vanish'd ! 

How lovely wert thou ; 
The hope in my spirit, 

The pride on my brow, 
The firm self-reliance 

My guardian and friend, 
The courage unyielding 

That Fate could not bend, ; 
Were mine to support me ; 

Oh ! Yesterday fair ! 
Come back, oh come back to me, 

Free from despair ! 
To-Day is relentless, 

My judge and my foe :- 
And Misery tracks me, 

Wherever I go. 
My temples are throbbing 

With sin unforgiven ; 
Men shall not pity me ! 

Pity me, Heaven !' 

IT. 

Down came the drenching rain, 
Beating the window-pane, 
Hoarsely the rusty vane, 

Groan'd to the blast ; 
Few in the dreary street, 
Plodded with weary feet ; 
He, through the piercing sleet, 

Shadow-like pass'd. 
The lamps shook and staggcr'd, 

And creak'd to the wind; 



And each on the pavement 
Threw trailing behind, 

A flickering beam, 

As of fire on a stream, 
Or torch of the Sprite, 

That dances o'er stagnant pools 

Cheating belated fools, 
Roaming at night. 

ii r. 

Under the doorways, 

Screeu'd from the weather, 
Desolate women stood 

Crouching together ; 
They, as he pass'd them, 

Wonder'd and gazed ; 
Said one to the other, 

' He raves, he is crazed ! 
Something has troubled him,- 

Hark how he moans ! 
But why should we pity him 

Here on the stones 1 
And yet who can help it ? 

Do you if you can ; 
I'd trample on Sorrow 

If I were a man ! 
Men have no misery 

Equal to ours !' 
He saw not he heard not- 
Poor way-trodden flowers, 
Your pity escaped him ! 

His world was within ; 
A world or a chaos 

Of anguish and sin. 
The rain and the tempest 

Were cool to his cheek, 



138 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



Balm to his throbbing brow, 

Hark ! did he speak ? 
' Madness broods over me ! 

Kind-hearted Death 
Canst thou not shelter me ? 

Vain is my breath ! 
Take it and welcome 

And low let me lie ; 
Low in the quiet grave ; 
Deep in the doleful wave ; 
Weary of living, 

Unworthy to die/ 

IV. 

Down came the drenching rain, 

Bubbling and swelling 
Fierce blew the gusty wind, 

Roaring and yelling. 
The senate was silent, 

Its orators fled, 
The ball-room was empty, 

Its roses were dead. 
Listless or half awake, 

Through the dull town 
Fashion rode homewards 

In ermine and down ; 
Fashion and Beauty 

All jaded and wan ; 
Fast through the tempest 

The steeds gallop'd on. 
Fire from their clanging hoofs 

Heavily shod 
'Mid the black ram pools 

Flash'd where they trod. 
Indolent Fashion, 

Weary and warm, 
Saw from its chariot 

That desolate form, 
Beating its rapid way 

Deaf to the storm : 

* Mad !' said the Countess, 

Of drink!' said the Earl; 

* Or love !' said his daughter fair- 
Twisting her flaxen hair 

Back into curl. 

v. 

Pass, sleepy Luxury ! 

Pass on your way ! 
You know not the wretchedness 

Born every day. 
High on life's summit 

in sunshine and snow, 



You hear not the torrents 

That thunder below. 
Pass ! he regards you not ! 

Sees not, nor hears ; 
The roar of your burning wheels 

Frets not his ears. 
His senses are absent 

In worlds of his own 
In deserts of agony 

Lost and alone. 

VI. 

Calm sleep the citizens ; 

Loud the wind blows ; 
If its wild moaning 

Break their repose. 
They dream as they hear it, 

Or turn where they lie, 
Conscious of happiness, 

Knowing not why, 
Except that the flush of morn 

Lights not the sky. 
Sleep ! happy citizens ! 

Sleep every one ! 
'Tis Misery only 

Wakes ere the Sun. 
Rest! Pain and Poverty ! 

Sleep! Toil and Care! 
Heaven, though it gave you 

Burdens to Dear, 
Lightens the heavy load. 
Shortens the weary roaa, 

Breathes on your brain 
The balm and the solace 

And healing of pain. 
Slumber, ye millions, 

Calmly till day ! 
Luxuiy ! Beggary ! 

Sleep, while ye may ! 

VII. 

Onwards, still onwards ! 

But whither ? who knows ? 
Where the lights quiver 
By the black river, 

Thither he goes ! 
Frenzy goes with him, 

His counsel and guide, 
A phantom, a spectre ; 

She stalks by his side. 
' Idiot.' she whispers, 

'See'st thou the end? 
Self-respect flies from thee, 

Death is thy friend; 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



139 



Nothing is left thee ! ' 

Deep from his heart 
Came a denial, 

'0 tempter, depart; 
She may remain to me ! ' 

' Fool that thou art ! 
Hast thou a truth to give 

Pure as of yore ? 
What shall her broken trust 

Ever restore ? 
Live, and she'll hate thee ; 

Die ; she'll deplore, 
Angel that loved thee once, 

Lost evermore ! 

VIII. 

Ceased the wind, sank the rain, 

Shone out the starlight ; 
Calm o'er the silent stream 

Glitter'd each far light. 
Lonely in gloomy mood, 
On the bleak bridge he stood, 
Midway above the flood, 
Looking down wistfully 

To the dark waters, 
Grave of the young and fair, 

Passion's lost daughters, 

IX. 

Oh. the pale faces 

Surging and sailing ! 
Oh, the long garments 

Lapping and trailing ! 
In the moon-shimmer 

Pallid and wan, 
Vapour-like, woman-like, 

Gleaming and gone ! 
Gleaming a moment, 

Then fading away ; 
Tombed in the ripple, 

Born in the ray ; 
Ever he saw their ghosts. 
Changeful and mournful hosts, 

Through the waves peering, 
Pointing their misty hands, 

Gibing and jeering ; 
Then to the starry maze 
Turn'd his Aveak human gaze, 

Blinded by tears ; 
Felt on the stormy sea 
Of his soul's agony, 
Dew-like serenity, 

Drop from the spheres. 



x. 

Ship-like, full-breasted, 

Travell'd the moon, 
Swift as a gondola 

In a lagoon, 
Through the cloud-highlands 

In silvery glow, 
Through the white islands 

Of turretted snow. 
Beautiful ! Beautiful ! 

How could he dare 
Ruffle with Passion 

The placid night air ? 
Or gaze on the moonlight 

With his despair? 
Lovely, most lovely ! 

How could he stand 
There, in the sight of Heaven, 

Clenching his hand ; 
Fuming and fretting 

At Fate's iron bars, 
An atom ! a gram of dust ! 

Chiding the stars ? 
Beautiful ! Beautiful ! 

Peace on its beams, 
Slid like a seraph 

Into his dreams. 
The mists of his spirit 

Were rent and withdrawn, 
Beautiful ! Beautiful ! 

Welcome the Dawn ! 

XI. 

In gold and in purple, 

In amber and gray, 
Under the steeple vanes, 

Eastward away, 
Over the house-tops 

Blush'd the new day. 
Filling not wholly 

Heaven's azure cup, 
But faintly and slowly 

Morn traveled up. 
The moonlight received it, 

And died in a swound ; 
Hesperus saw it 

And vauish'd, discrown' d 
Steeple and pinnacle, 

Turret and spire, 
Crowded and countless 

As flames hi a fire ; 
All the great city ; 

As far as the sight, 



140 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



Emerged into morning 
And glimmered in light. 

XII. 

Smokeless and voiceless- 
Majestic and fair 
No roar of its whirlpool 

Of struggle and care, 
Broke the sweet silence 

Enfolding the air. 
Peace might have made it 

A palace and dome, 
Could our wild passions 

Allow it a home. 
Peace ! no ; it cannot rest 
On the earth's teeming breast ;- 

War is our life ! 
Sleep is the truce of God 

Pluck'd from the strife! 
To-morrow, that comes not, 
. Shall Peace have her throne 
Low in the sleepy air 

Trumpets are blown. 
Wake thee, great city, 

To-day is thine own. 

XIII. 

Whence came the tremor, 

The flush and the start ? 
What sent the dancing blood 

Back to his heart ? 
He saw as if mirror'd, 

That he might behold. 
Phantoms of Pride and Hope, 

Glory and Gold; 
Phantoms that dazzled him 

All his life long, 
Leading him, tempting him, 

Luring him wrong. 

XIV. 

lie saw his dark scroll of life 

Bared to his sight, 
Spreading before him 

In darkness or light, 
All his heart's history, 
All his thought's mystery ; 

Back through the years 
To the dim distance 

Of his first tears ; 
Back to the early days, 

When a fair bov, 



Spotless and artless 

He caroll'd in joy, 
Plaiting green rushes, 

And gathering flowers, 
Full of wild fancies 

As April of showers ; 
Back to the happy time, 

Crown'd with his youth, 
When his heart's visions 

Were Beauty and Truth ; 
Back to his moonlights, 

His yearnings and sighs, 
When the best Heaven he sought 
Lay in a maiden's thought, 

Or her blue eyes ; 
Back to the darkness 

Clouding his morn ; 
Darkness and discord, 

And longings forlorn, 
Errors and frailties 

And sufferings keen, 
With flashes of gladness 

And glory between ! 

xv. 

Moodily, sullenly 

Watching the tide, 
Still the Bad Angel 

Stood at his side ; 
Black o'er his path 

Fell her shadow of fear, 
Angrily whispered 

Her voice in his ear ; 
Her voice of reproaches 

Too dreadful to bear. 
' Look in thy heart/ she said, 

4 Fool ! and despair ! 
Fool that woulcrst live 

With such guilt on thy head- 
Grief is for living men, 

Peace for the dead/ 

XVI. 

Out from the sunshine 

An answer there went, 
1 Hush thee, false Spirit, 

The man shall repent, 
God's mercy shall save him ! 

Dear Angel of Love ! 
He look'd through the morning 

And saw thee above : 
The light of thy garment's heni 

Dazzled the day; 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



141 



Soft through the purple air 

Borne far away, 
Voices ecstatic 

Seem'd mingling to say, 
* The man shall not perish ! ' 

Shine brighter, bright dream ! 
O'er his dark memory 

Sparkle and beam ; 
Linger to charm him ! 

The struggle shall cease, 
The spirit of evil 

Shall leave him to peace. 
The passions that rack him 

Shall dwindle and die, 
Hope points above him, 

Sole star in the sky. 
Shine vision of Beauty 

His heart to illume, 
Good angels be with him, 

Day dawns on his gloom ! 



PART THE SECOND. 



EMBOWER'D amid the Surrey Hills 

The quiet village lay, 
Two rows of ancient cottages 

Beside the public wav, 
A modest church, with ivied tower, 

And spire with mosses gray. 

ii. 

Beneath the elm's o'er-arching boughs 

The little children ran ; 
The self-same shadows fleck'd the sward 

In days of good Queen Anne ; 
And then, as now, the children sang 

Beneath its branches tall 
They grew, they loved, they sinn'd, they 
"died 

The tree outlived them all. 
B at still the human flow'rets grew, 

And still the children play'd, 
And ne'er the tree lack'd youthful feet 

To frolic in its shade, 
The ploughboy's whistle in the spring, 

Or chant of happy maid. 

in. 

Oh, pleasant green of Micklethorpe ! 
From far Australian shore, 



From deep Canadian wilderness 

That hears St Lawrence roar, 
From ships in the Pacific seas, 

Or coast of Labrador, 
Comes back to thee the tender thought, 

With dear remembrance crown'd ; 
Thy wandering children love thee well, 

And all the landscape round, 
And dream of thee in lonely nights, 

And think thee holy ground. 

IV. 

And so thou art ; and so shalt be, 

Where'er thy loved ones roam ; 
The vision of thine ancient tree 

Shall speak to them of home ; 
The ancient tree, the lone churchyard, 

The monitory spire, 
And smoke upcurling through the wood, 

From distant cottage fire 
The seep 3 of many a mother's kiss, 

Or blessing of a sire. 

v. 

'Twas Sunday morn, and Parson Vale, 

Beloved of high and low, 
With smiles for all men's happiness, 

And heart for every woe, 
Walk'd meekly to the parish church, 

With hair as white as snow 
Walk'd meekly to the parish church, 

Amid his daughters three 
There were more angels at his side 

Than mortal eyes could see 
The four were seven^-for with them 
went 

Faith, Hope, and Charity. 

VI. 

Faith, Hope, and heavenly Charity 

Whate'er the good man taught, 
Whate'er his text, these blessed three 

Were present to his thought ; 
He never scorn'd his fellow-men, 

Or held the humblest nought; 
He warn'd the strong, he raised the 
weak, 

And, like his Master mild, 
He help'd and comforted the poor, 

And loved each little child, 
And, 'mid the moil and dust of life, 

Went forward undefiled. 



142 



THE LUMP OP GOLD. 



VII. 

His eldest daughter, matron fair, 

In beauty's perfect noon, 
Mature, and redolent of sweets, 

And pleasant as a tune, 
Walk'd at his side ; his life's best charm, 

Since one perchance more dear, 
Had gone before him to the grave 

In summer of her year, 
And left him memories and regrets, 

And three fond hearts to cheer. 

VIII. 

Sweet Lilian Vale ! if some denied 

The splendours of her face, 
Not one denied her perfect charm 

Of gentleness and grace. 
No dazzling beauty fired her eyes, 

But on her brow serene, 
Enthroned upon that ivory seat, 

Sat Goodness, like a queen. 

IX. 

The quiet ripple of her smile 

Reveal'd the peaceful mind, 
The mellow moonlight of her eyes 

Her sympathies refined ; 
And when she spoke, the audible charm 

Was Beauty for the blind. 
Her gentle heart was woo'd and won, 

But he whose name she bore, 
Adventurous for the sake of wealth 

Had sought the Australian shore ; 
And delved the mines of Ballarat 

For uudiscover'd ore. 

x. 

But not for sake of gold alone 

Went Aubrey from his bride, 
'Twas restless youth, 'twas love of change, 

'Twas old ancestral pride, 
J Twas hope to raise a fallen house 

From penury and disgrace- 
To purchase back from usurers 

The birthright of his race ; 
And dwell respected like his sires 

In Aubrey Park and Place. 

XI. 

So Lilian kept her father's house, 
Beloved and loving duty 

A youthful matron fairest sight 
In all the realm of Beauty. 



No dream had she of sudden wealth 
From all her lord's endeavour ; 

She only pray'd his safe return 
Resign'd; but hopeful ever. 

XII. 

The four the seven, went into 
church 

So meek, so calm, and holy; 
But one unseen had gone before 

With downcast eyes and lowly. 
Pallid and faint, and travel-worn, 
Like one sick-hearted and forlorn ; 

He shunn'd the inquiring look, 
And sat with chin upon his hand 

And eyes upon the Book. 

XIII. 

The parson preach'd on Vanity, 

And taught his simple flock 
How lust of gold would cheat the hope 

Till the very fiends did mock, 
The vanity of vanities 

The lesson new and old 
That Virtue was the only wealth 

Whose sum was never told ; 
That love of money chill'd the heart 

And made the free a slave, 
And took away from life and soul 

More bounties than it gave ; 
That all the gold was ever coin'd 

Was impotent to buy 
Departed youth, lost peace of mind, 

A sunbeam in the sky, 
Or half a minute from the grave 

In life's last agony. 

XIV. 

Behold ! ' he said, ' the honest man 

Who earns his daily bread. 
And, unabash'd, lifts up to Heaven 

His independent head ; 
And taking blessings when they come, 

Enjoys them while they last ; 
And waits the future day with hope, 

While thankful for the past. 
And look at Croesus, old and sad, 

With millions in his store 
With parks and farms, and mines and 
mills, 

And fisheries on the shore : 
His money is his bane of life, 

He dreads the workhouse door. 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



143 



xv. 

He dreams his wife, his child, his 
friends, 

His servants, all mankind, 
Are leagued to plunder and deceive 

He trembles at the wind : 
He shakes with palsy and distrust 

He fares like beggar hind. 
He grudges nature half the crust 

That hungry need demands, 
And sees in visions of the day 

The auction of his lands ; 
His body in the pauper's grave, 

His gold in robber hands.' 

XVI. 

A sigh, deep-drawn, betrayal some heart 

That felt compunctious wrong ; 
The preacher heard ; oh, lonely heart ! 

Take courage and be strong ! 
1 Behold again, how Sporus lived 

From youth till past his prime 
From morn of manhood to its eve 

He toil'd for future time, 
His forehead turn'd from Heaven to 
Earth, 

In picking gold from slime ; 
Gold for his need, to keep and breed, 

That ere his life's last hour, 
Among the mighty of the land, 

The Lord of hall and bower, 
He might be worshipp'd for his wealth, 

And float in seas of power. 

XVII. 

' Unhappy prisoner, self -immured ! 

Poor hunter of a shade ! 
Th o'er-labour'd brain refused its 
work 

The fire of life decay'd ; 
Amid the rums of his mind, 

Enthroned in darkness grim, 
Lord of his life, there sat a fiend 

Would tear him limb from limb : 
Oh Death, that pitiest all below, 

Look down and pity him ! ; 

XVIII. 

Again an audible sigh escaped 

A sinner in the crowd ; 
None knew the heart that thus betray'd 

Its agonies aloud : 



But the preacher look'd'with eyes be- 
nign; 

' Come ! hear an olden tale, 
Cull'd from the storehouse of the 

Past 
A truth within the veil/ 

XIX. 

The murmurous river of breath was 
hush'd, 

Like the ripple of a brook, 
When the sudden frost comes flashing 
down 

And fixes it with a look ; 
So vast the silence as he spoke, 

You might have heard the grass 
Rustle and wave to the fitful winds, 

And the bee, in haste to pass, 
Sounding a trump like a martial call 

On a clarion of brass. 

. xx, 
You might have heard the sparrow cheep 

Mid the yew-berries juicy red, 
And the long rank nettles singing a dirge 

Over the nameless dead, 
Where they lay as calmly as the 'squire 

With the 'scutcheons o'er his head 
Calmly, calmly, pauper and 'squire, 

"Each in his narrow bed ! 



THE BUILDER. 

1 WHAT art thou building, building, 

So lofty to behold, 
With the silver and the gilding, 

The ivory and the gold, 
And porphyry columns rising 

Like trees in the forest old? 

' Why place thy marble basements 
So deep in the cold earth's veins, 

And thy towers and window-casements 
So high o'er the steeple fanes, 

And why those ponderous portals 
With iron bolts and chains? 

' And why those guards and warders 

With horn and signal calls, 
And far on thy furthest borders 

The moats and brazen walls ; 
Dost fear invading robbers, 

Or the foeman in thy halls?' 



144 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



1 1 build a house of splendour 
Where, in the world's despite, 

I may force the hours to render 
Their tribute of delight ; 

A house on the hill-top shining 
Far seen like a star at night. 

I 1 dread nor thief, nor foeman ; 
My board shall teem with cheer, 

When hunger bids, shall no man, 
Be scorned or stinted here, 

But I raise these gates and turrets 
To guard me from a Fear. 

* To guard me safe-enfolden 

Like a seed at the apple-core ; 
Oh bolts and barriers golden, 

Keep well the outer door, 
That SORROW may not enter 

To sting me as of yore ! ' 

' Oh fool, in thy lordly palace ! 

Oh fool, with bolts and bars ! 
Thou'lt find her in thy chalice, 

She'll float in the wild- wind cars ; 
She'll glide in the air thou breathest, 

She'll smite thee from the stars ! 

* She'll come to thee in the morning 

When the light of day streams in, 
She'll sit with thee in the evening, 

Thou fool and child of sin ! 
And whisper at thy pillow, 

And claim thee of her kin. 

' In spite of all thy building, 
And all thy warders stout, 
And all thy gold and gilding, 
!" T She'll hedge thee round about : 
Heart-purity, and goodness, 
Alone shall keep her out.' 



XXI. 

The little flock went cheerily forth, 

That sunny summer morn, 
The poor man, at his humble feast, 

Look'd out on the growing corn, 
And bless'd the Providence of Heaven, 

And the hour that he was born. 
And the rich man own'd that wealth 
alone 

Was a boon of little worth, 
If it brought not happy peace of mind, 

And the glow of innocent mirth, 



And the will to cheer and sanctify 
The by-ways of the earth. 

XXII. 

'Twos Monday morn at Micklethorpe, 

And all its little world 
Was up and stirring out or in, 
The mill resumed its click and din, 

And the mill-wheel spun and swirl'd, 
And the mill-stream danced in the 
morning light, 

And all its eddies curl'd. 

XXIII. 

The mealy miller sniff' d the breeze, 

And boded pleasant weather ; 
The sturdy blacksmith bared his arm, 

A.nd donned his apron-leather ; 
Wliile the jangling bells of the wag- 
goner's team 

They all kept time together. 
The ostler whistled a poaching tune ; 

And the landlord of the * Crown,' 
Ruddy and round, came out to greet 

The coach from the distant town 
For the railway spared this nook of hills, 

By leagues of park and down. 

XXIV 

The gardener's lad, who pruned the trees 

That grew by the rectory wall, 
Sang as he wrought with wandering 
thought, 

And a heart at peace with all. 
Merry the lay, and clear as day ; 

The parson heard the words 
Come in at the open window-sill, 

With the twitter of the birds, 
And smiled to himself a quiet smile, 

* An honest lad and free, 
If he believe in the song he sings 

And a song well sung ! ' quoth he. 



EARL NORMAN AND JOHN 
TRUMAN. 

' THROUGH great Earl Norman's acres 
wide, 

A prosperous and a good land, 
'Twill take you fifty miles to ride. 

O'er grass, and corn, and woodland. 
His age is sixty-nine, or near 

And I'm scarce twenty-two, man, 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



145 



And have but fifty pounds a -year 

Poor John Truman ! 
But would I change ? Ff aith ! not I ! 

Oh, no, not I, says Truman ! 

' Earl Norman dwells in halls of state, 

The grandest in the county ; 
Has forty cousins at his gate, 

To feed upon his bounty. 
But then he's deaf ; the doctor's care 

While I in whispers woo, man, 
And find my physic in the air 

Stout John Truman ! 
D'ye think I'd change for thrice his gold? 

Oh no, not I, says Truman ! 

'Earl Norman boasts a gartered knee 

A proof of royal graces ; 
I wear, by Nelly wrought for me, 

A silken pair of braces. 
He sports a star upon his breast, 

And I a violet blue, man 
The gift of her who loves me best 

Proud John Truman ! 
I'd be myself and not the Earl 

Oh that would I, says Truman ! ' 



XXV. 

There were more listeners to the song 

Than the jocund gardener knew, 
The parson, and his daughters fair, 

With their eyes of merry blue. 
And 'one without, by the hawthorn- 
hedge, 

W T ho roam'd the green lanes through. 
Who roam'd the green lanes up and 
i down, 

1 But stopp'd as the gardener sang ; 
And heard the sound of his careless voice 

As clear on the breeze it rang ; 
* Ah me ! 7 he said, with bitter thought, 

* For the days for ever gone, 
When / could sing in the morning light 

With the whole world's benison, 
And fear no fiend in my own heart's core 

Goading me ever on ! ' 

XXVI. 

Tumultuous discord fill'd his soul 
How could he stand to hear, 

The jarring joy, the taunting mirth 
That sprang from a conscience clear ? 

Away ! away ! for the shadow fell, 
And the darkness gathered near ! 



XXVII. 

One glance at Lilian through the leaves, 

As she stood mid the lattice flowers, 
Looking abroad like a ray of light 

On this darkening world of ours. 
And he was gone ; he knew not whither 

Into the wild-wood bowers ; 
Into the wild-wood's deepest bowers 

Where none might see his pain, 
And where the pitying trees might shield 

The sunshine from his brain ; 
Where he might weep; if tears would 
come 

With their showers of blessed rain : 
Not yet ! not yet ! his barren eyes 

Implored the dews hi vain ! 

XXVIII. 

O'er Mickleham Down the evening star 

Shone radiant as the moon, 
The balancing, floating, twinkling lark 

As blithe as it were noon, 
Received the twilight with a song ; 

More free than the nightingale, 
Who keeps her fancies for the stars 

And chants to the moonlight pale, 
But lets the daylight glow unsung ; 

Not so the liberal lark, 
Familiar as the fragrant air 

Wlio hails botfi dawn and dark ; 
Like a cheerful heart, too busy with joy 

To dream the world goes wrong, 
But thankful ever, complaining never, 

Buoys itself up with song. 

XXIX. 

Across the Down went Lucy Gore, 

The farmer's only daughter^ 
But nine years old with glowing cheeks 

And smiles like wimpling water. 
Three miles she sped to Micklethorpe, 

By shady lane and alley, 
Across the stiles and through the copse, 

And the corn-fields in the valley; 
As brave as childish innocence 

That fears nor foe nor stranger, 
She never stopp'd or look'd behind, 

Or thought of toil or danger. 

XXX. 

With little hand she gently tapp'd 

At the open Rectory door ; 
To Parson V ale, and him alone, 

Her earnest bode she bore; 



146 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



And Lilian gave her welcome kind, 
; But wonder'd what could bring 
So young a carrier dove as this 
So late upon the wing. 



XXXI. 



The simple tale was briefly told 

A man in evil plight, 
A stranger in her father's house, 

Lay suffering in their sight : 
Self -tortured wanderingin his speech 

With fancies dark and wild 
And unintelligible all, 

' Except/ said the little child, 
' When he calls on Parson Vale to come, 

For God's and pity's sake, 



And hear the sorrows of his heart 
Before his heart shall break ; 

And I,' said Lucy Gore. ' am come 
For Christ's and pity's sake.' 

xxxir. 

The Parson's face, a morning sky 

Suffused with light from Heaven, 
Grew radiant with his meek resolve ;- 

' Be all our sins forgiven 
I'll go, and cheer the soul-sick man.'- 

He kiss'd his children three 
Lovingly on the cheek and brow 

And Lucy Gore and he 
Went hand-in-hand across the down, 

In the light of Charity. 



PART THE THIRD. 

i. 

* THOTJ'RT better, Edward,' said, in gentle tone, 

Aubrey's own Lilian, o'er his pillow bending; 

' The fever and the agony are gone, 

And peace is with thee.' One warm tear descending, 

Fell on his hand. * Oh, piteous dew,' he said, 

' That shows she loves me ; would the healing flow 

If I could tell her all that she must know 

When the cold grass waves dankly o'er my head ! ; 

ir. 

'Ay ! Edward ! I am thine : whate'er thou art ! ' 
His pale face shone with ecstasy of gladness 
A moment only : looming from his heart 
Came the dark shadow of unsolaced sadness. 
'Few are mine hours,' he said, ' and full of sorrow, 
But if thou'lt pity and forgive my guilt 
I could die happier ; from thy face I borrow 
Mine only joy : Thou'lt pity me ? Thou wilt 1' 

in. 

'Ay ! from my heart's deep heart, and inmost soul ! 
How could I love thee, if I did not share 
All thou endurest ; all but thy Despair ? 
Lookup repenting: Faith shall make thee whole; 
And if this human love, so frail and fond 
Shall lead thee to it, rise from thy despond, 
And know it thine ; thine only, as of yore 
And thine, thine only now and evermore. 

IV. 

' True love bears all but treason to itself; 
In sorrow, comforting ; in loss of pelf 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 147 



Coining its looks to treasure ; kindly words 
To fortunes and estates ; in guilt and pain 
Looking up hopefully through Sorrow's rain 
To sunshine and the chant of heavenly birds I ' 

v. 

' Let me die happy ! ' said the feeble man ; 
The parson enter'd, all his visage bright 
With inward glory,' No ! thou shalt not die- 
Lily brings comfort, all that true love can, 
But I bring greater ; on thy soul's dim night 
Impetuous morning rushes from the sky, 
And shows thee hope on earth as well as heaven. 7 
He look'd up doubtful,' I am unforgiven !' 

VI. 

' Najr ! ' said the parson, ' darest thou define 
The infinite height and depth of love divine 
Or scope of mercy ? Leave us for a space, 
Lily, my child.' She glided from the place 
Like a fair sunbeam from the lingering gloom, 
And Aubrey felt a chilness in the room ; 
And darkness where so late pure light had shone. 
' Why didst thou bid my star of peace be gone? 
Without her presence life forgets to burn- 
Let me not die until the light return !' 

VII. 

Three hours beside his bed the good man sat, 

Watchful, benign, and patient. Their discourse 

Lilian nor knew, nor guess'd ; but hoped and prayM 

That on her lord's sad soul long-vanish'd peace 

Might fall like moonlight on a troubled sea, 

Or choral music in cathedral aisles, 

That stills all worldly passion where it breathes, 

And wafts the willing fancy straight to heaven 

Amid the seraphim that know and love, 

And milder cherubim that love and know; 

Their whispers, melodies, then* converse high, 

Eternal harmonies unheard of men, 

Imagined only by the ecstatic few 

Who catoh far on f aint echoes of their song, 

And tell to none the mysteries they dream. 

VIII. 

Was her hope vain ? She thought not, when she saw 

Her father's face ; and when he spoke, the hope 

Flush'd into certainty. ' Let him repose 

He hath heard news that will revive his soul. 

No evil dreams shall vex him ; let him rest. 

Watch thou beside him, Lily, if thou wilt, 

And when he wakes, make known that I am here. 

Say nothing more of me, but of thyself 

All that thy love may dictate. He is heal'd.' 



148 THE LUMP OF GOLD. 

IX. 

And so it happen'd. ' Lily/ said her lord, 
Ere pass'd the week, as, leaning on her arm, 
He walk'd in sunshine through the leafy lanes, 
And caught the odorous breezes on his cheeks 

* I feel new life ; all joys that I had lost 
Have come back greater, fairer than before ; 
To thee I owe them, and thy saintly sire. 
When I am stronger, as I soon shall be, 

I'll tell thee all the evil I have done 

Since last I left thee for the golden land ; 

And all the good I hope, full bless'd with thee, 

To do hereafter. Courage fails me yet 

But no, not courage ; only strength ; that comes 

Daily and hourly. Meanwliile, the blue sky, 

The wind that wantons 'mid the beechen boughs, 

And sports amid thv hair, dear love and mine ; 

The sunshine, and the wild flowers by the way, 

The innocent carol of the heartsome birds, 

Fill me with joy so deep, I dread to tell 

How blest I am, lest telling it should mar, 

And seem to invite the lurking fiends that watch 

To strike the goblet from our thirsty lips, 

And punish happiness that boasts too soon ; 

As if they said " since happiness can be 

The fault is ours ; out with it from the world ! " ; 

x. 

' Be glad and fear not !' was the prompt reply, 

* All innocent joy is piety to God. 

A joy diffusive, like the light of lieaven, 

Fair in itself, and making all things fair, 

Even in its shadow ! ' Thus they walk'd and spoke ; 

And thus came splendour to liis fading eye, 

Thus came the crimson to his pallid cheek, 

The hopeful corn-age to Ins youthful heart 

That Sorrow had not duITd with apathy, 

Or punctured with the poisonous gall of Hate. 

XI. 

* Thy father knows my secret so must thou/ 
Said Aubrey to his wife one summer morn, 
Sitting upon the green sward 'mid the flowers; 

' I've strength to tell it, and from thee, sweet heart, 
I may hide nothing, of thy love secure ; 
Dreading to lose thy love, I might conceal 
Aught that would rob me of the meanest mite 
Of an affection which is more than lif e ; 
That which upholds it, chastens and adorns. 

XII. 

' The shadow is past : the storm-bent tree, unscathed, 
Stands in its place and lifts its boughs to heaven, 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



149 



And if I've suffered suffering nerves the strong. 

The placid river, flowing through the mead, 

Shows not its strength ; but when its pathway slopes 

Downwards 'mid jagged rocks, and chasms austere, 

It knows the task necessity decreed, 

And awes the world with spectacle of power. 

Such course Pve run ; and now, grown calm once more, 

I can reflect the starlight of thine eyes, 

And mirror in clear heart the things of heaven. 

Come place thy hand in mine, and near the tale. 



PART THE FOURTH. 



Two years a^o, five hundred souls, 
We sail'd in the good ship * Anne/ 

Some to trade, and many to dig, 
And some under Fortune's ban ; 

But all intent on the bright red gold, 
That gladdens the heart of man. 

ii. 
No tears were shed, as our vessel sped 

Where the free fresh breezes bore ; 
We thought of the wealth our hands 
should win, 

And cared not to deplore 
A land unmotheiiy to us, 

Who drove us from her shore, 
Wherever we would, for evil or good, 

To wipe away the stain 
That poverty burns on the breast and 
brow, 

With a brand like that of Cain ; 
To rub it off with the virtue of gold, 

And the potency of gain. 

in. 

There were but two and I was one 

Regretful to depart ; 
And we were friends, we knew not why, 
Except for the hidden sympathy 

That acts from heart to heart 
Magnetic, ere the tongue can say 

' My friend ! I feel thou art ! ' 

IV. 

Like one awaking from a dream, 
Ere the mist of slumber clears, 
I wondered whether I slept or waked, 
k And what made tarry my tears j 



Asking myself ' And can it be 

That I've done my heart such wrong 
As to leave my Lily My Queen of 

flowers 

That bloom'd in my bosom long, 
And join, for the sake of the dreary 

dross ; 
This miserable throng ? 

v. 
But Hope went with me ; thou wert safe, 

And I thought of a coming day, 
When my Lily should bloom in a lordly 
bower, 

The Queen of my life's glad May; 
And built high palaces of cloud, 

To gleam in the morning ray. 
Palace and tower of changing form ; 

Ever they fell and rose, 
But ever amid their purple halls, 

And corridors of snows, 
I saw the gleam of thy spangled robes, 

And thy feet like twinkling stars ; 
And heard thy voice, and saw thy face 

Peering through golden bars. 

VI. 

At evening, when the sun went down, 

All heaven for his attire, 
We watch'd the glory of his face 

The old Imperial Sire 
Sinking to rest in the regal west, 

In robes of crimson fire. 

VII. 

Five hundred souls on good ship board, 

And only two to bless 
The splendour of the closing day, 

And the twilight loveliness ! 



150 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



Five hundred souls, and only two 

To look into the night, 
In its ineffable majesty, 

And wonder at the sight, 
With love no language could express, 

And yearnings infinite ! 

VIII. 

We saw communion in our eyes, 

The voiceless thought of each ; 
The frozen founts of sympathy 

Were loosen'd into speech. 
The lighthouse glitter'd faint and far, 

But ere we lost its flame, 
Each knew the other's hopes and fears, 

His kindred and his name ; 
The uneasy spirit that urged him forth, 

And the country whence he came. 

IX. 

Four weary months on the wide wide sea, 
We paced the deck together ; 

Dreading no foe but the treacherous berg 
And the breezeless summer weather, 

When the idle topsail hung on the mast 
As useless as a feather. 



The sailors glancing to the south 

Discoursed of mist and snow, 
'Heaven grant !' they said, 'deliverance 

From the iceberg and the floe !' 
Far as our wondering eyes could reach 

Uprose their summits" clear ; 
Like cities on a distant shore 

We saw them floating near ; 
Cathedrals, pinnacles, and towers, 

And palaces of cold, 
Rose-tinted, amber, opal blue, 

Alight with living gold. 

XI. 

Fair Ocean Alps ! we could but gaze 

With wonder and delight, 
Though still the wary seaman spoke 

Of perils in the night : 
' Heaven be our hope ! and guide us safe 

Through perils of the night ! ' 

XII. 

And were our eyes and ears deceived, 

And were we near a town ? 
Far from the ship, beyond the ice 

A league or more, adown, 



We heard the sound of pealing bells, 
One ! two ! and three ! and four ! 

' Rejoice !' we cried, 'the land ! the land! 
They're ringing on the shore !' 

XIII. 

Oh, cheating dream ! oh, credulous hope! 

We could have wept, each one ; 
'Twas but our own ship's bell that ruuff 

At setting of the sun. 
The echoes, muffled in the cold, 

Came back forlorn and lost, 
Dim shadows of departed sounds, 

From the caverns of the frost 
And we were alone on the wide wide sea 

With the icebergs and the frost. 

XIV. 

Three days and nights they hemni'd us 
in, 

An adamantine wall ; 
We saw their peaks and battlements, 

We heard them crack and fall. 
The fourth day when we rose at mom 

The favouring breezes blew, 
The dwindling icebergs far behind 

Had left us passage through ; 
The good ship sped, our sails were spread 

Full breasted to the sky, 
And for aid in peril and distress 

We praised tne Lord on High. 

xv. 

At length, impatient of the ship, 

We reach'd the golden land, 
And Heseltine and I took leave 

Upon its desolate strand, 
And breathed the hope to meet again 

Fervently, hand in hand. 
And I went out to the wilderness 

With earnest heart and high, 
To put my manhood to the test 

All danger to defy, 
And gather store of the burning gold 

That all men deify. 

XVI. 

Day by clay I toil'd and dug ; 

I was the veriest slave 
Who ever sold himself to chains 

I wrought with fool and knave, 
With the selfsame toil for the selfsame 
end; 

I hated them one and all, 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



151 



So stubborn of heart so coarse of 
tongue, 

Such bondsmen under thrall, 
So mean and grasping pity me, Heaven ! 

I hated them one and all. 

XVII. 

All the deeper my hatred grew, 

Because from day to day 
I f ear'd and felt I might become 

As grovelling as they. 
I saw their vices in my own, 

And turn'd my eyes away. 

XVIII. 

One was a peer of ancient blood, 

The lord of acres none ; 
And one a wrangler from the Cam 

In purse and name undone. 
And one could speak in choicest Greek, 

And one was a bishop's son. 

XIX. 

And they dug, and dug, and so did I, 

And many a hundred more. 
Who claim'd me of their brotherhood 

For the greed of the golden ore. 
But I loathed them from my haughty 
heart, 

And kept myself aside, 
A moody man but little esteem'd, 

With armour strong and tried, 
Armour of proof and coat of mail, 

Unconquerable Pride. 

xx. 

One morn, apart and unobserved, 

I roam'd beyond the bound, 
And saw a streak of glittering gold 

An inch above the ground ; 
I could not lift it with my hands ; 

I dug, and none was near ; 
I scraped the earth with greedy haste 

In a pang of joy and fear. 

XXI. 

And oh ! the lustful agony, 

I sought not to control 
The avarice greedy as Hell's own fire, 

That stirr'd me body and soul, 
As I bared it forth and inch by inch 

Measured it part, and whole ! 



XXII. 

The gold was long, and broad, and thick, 

As the statue of a man ; 
I felt a fever in my blood 

That through my pulses ran, 
As I look'd and wonder'd at the wealth 

All mine to have and hold ! 
Alas ! not so ; I could not move 

This thing so heavy and cold;, 
Nor I nor twenty men could stir 

The fiendish lump of gold. 

XXIII. 

I sat and gazed with savage eyes 

Till joy gave place to dread ; 
I felt the fate of Tantalus ; 

I smote my aching head. 
A coward terror blench'd my face, 

The rustle of a leaf 
Fill'd me with fear, lest it should tell 

The footsteps of a thief. 
I trembled at the waving grass 

And the whisper of the wind ; 
While the cry of the parrot, hoarse and 
rough, 

In the thicket boughs behind. 
Made my cheeks burn, it seem'd so like 

The voice of humankind. 

XXIV. 

In haste and dread I covered it up 

I cover'd it up with sand ; 
With sand, and clay, and clods of 
earth ; 

I wrought with foot and hand, 
I flatten'd the earth, and made it firm, 

Then streVd it o'er with leaves, 
As if the wild autumnal winds, 

Through melancholy eves, 
Had blown then* dead to moulder there; 

And then I went my way ; 
And with me went a burning heart, 

That hoped, but could not pray. 

XXV. 

But oh! the dreams the joyous 
dreams 

Like sunbeams on a sea, 
That sparkled on my restless mind, 

When I thought of mygoldandthee! 
And oh ! the overcrowding hopes 

That look'd in my face and smiled, 



152 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



As I lay awake through the feverish 
night, 

And heard the laughter wild 
Of the roystering diggers singing their 



To the small hours of the morn 
Hopes, and plans, and changeful dreams, 

Of pride and avarice born: 
Ah, no ! not so I wrong my heart, 

When I listen to my scorn ! 

XXVL 

Heaven be my witness love for thee 

Through all my frenzy wrought ; 
And from the splendour of thine eyes 

My sordid passion caught 
A reflex of the generous fire 

That sanctifies thy thought. 
I prized not gold to hide and hoard, 

Like miserable dirt ; 
I sought it not for evil ends, 

Or my fellow-creatures' hurt ; 
But for sake' of luxury and power 

To spend it like a king ; 
To herd no more among the mean, 

Who crawl for want of wing ; 
But to soar aloft in the morning light, 

And revel in the spring. 

XXVII. 

Oh glorious dream ! I sow'd I reap'd 

Rebuilt my feudal tower ; 
And through my old paternal groves, 

My avenue and bower, 
I walk'd, the monarch of the place, 
a In affluence of power. 

XXVIII. 

I built a dome for ancient art, 

The master-works of Time, 
For Titian, Guido, Tmtoret, 

And Rubens the sublime ; 
For living art that charms the world 

As potently as they, 
Our English Raphaels great perchance 

As Raphaels pass'd away, 
And none the less because they work 

O'ershadow'd by To-day. 

XXIX. 

I built a palace for my books, 
So vast that kings themselves 

Might marvel at the wealth of wit 
I treasured on my shelves. 



All art all luxury and state, 
The waifs of peace and war, 

Choice pictures, vases, bronzes, gems, 
I gather'd from afar, 

And all for thee my love, my Queen 
My life my polar star ! 

XXX. 

Foils to the splendour of thy charms 

I scattered at thy feet 
As breezes in the early June 

Strew earth with blossoms sweet 
A shower of rubies, emeralds, pearls, 

And diamonds for thy hair ; 
So that the proudest woman bora 

Might own thee past compare ; 
And say. ' She's happy she's beloved, 

As ricn as she is fair.' 
While I might whisper to myself, 

' Her smiles are purer gems ; 
Her loving looks are greater wealth 

Than regal diadems ; 
Her words the treasures of my soul, 

And she, if forced to part 
With all things but her pomp of youth 

And purity of heart. 
Would be a paragon of wealth, 

And pauperize the mart.' 

XXXI. 

But not alone for thee and me 

Were all my hurrying dreams, 
For I pour'd my wealth as Alpine peaks 

Pour down the April streams. 
To Kate thy sister, merry of laugh 

Amid her gay compeers, 
But shy as a berry 'mid the leaves 

To the eyes of cavaliers ; 
I gave a dowry for an Earl. 

For Margery, bright as she, 
But changeful as the clouds of even 
When the sun upon the rim of Heaven 

Is suiking to the sea, 
I counted out the jingling gold ; 

The coins fell fast and free ; 
Into her lap as many I told 

As leaves on the tall oak tree. 

XXXII. 

At morn, with hot, o'erwatchful eyes. 

I rose ere twilight fair, 
And walk'd abroad with stealthy tread, 

Suspicious of the air, 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



153 



And jealous lest the brabbling stones 
My footsteps should declare. 

xxxm. 
I sought the place where my treasure 

slept ; 

The dews were on the ground, 
Each silvery drop on the crinkled leaves 

Lay, like a jewel, round. 
No human foot had pass'd that way 

Since the setting of the sun, 
And the thought that weigh'd on my 

heavy heart 
Was a secret known to none. 

XXXIV. 

What should I do 1 'Twere hard to say ! 

I could not move my wealth ; 
I could not bruise it into lumps, 

And carry it off by stealth. 
I could not' tell the men I scorn'd, 

Till my inmost heart did ache, 
How great a treasure I had found, 

And ask them to partake ; 
To come with the crowbar and the pike 

To lift my ponderous gold, 
And help me for an equal share 

Fully and fairly tola, 
For I knew they'd break the holiest oath, 

And murder me for gold. 

xxxv. 
I waked in fear I slept in dread 

I was afraid of day, 
Lest its heedless light to human eyes 

My secret should betray ; 
And when I visited the spot 

I walk'd another way 
Miles about like a dodging fox, 

Keen-eyed and strong of limb, 
Lest men should follow and mark the 
place 

Where slept mine idol grim ; 
And slay the worshipper at the shrine 

For the sake of the saint below ; 
The fiendish saint the Golden god 

My comforter my foe ! 

XXXVI. 

But mostly in the dull dark night, 
Arm'd to the teeth, I prowl' d, 

Stern as the wolves on the granite crags 
That stared at me and howl'd. 

I lost the fellowship of man, 
My heart grew hard as stone ; 



Nay, harder far, and heavy as' gold ; 

I stood in the world alone, 
And Reason quaff 'd a poison cup, 

And stagger'd on her throne. 

XXXVII. 

One luckless morn, with axe and gun, 

I wander'd to my lair ; 
My lair and haunt my resting-place, 

And saw, to my despair, 
The marks of feet the earth upturn'd, 

My treasure lying bare. 
I stood aghast I look'd around 

I listen'd for a breath ; 
There was a devil in mime eyes, 

And my fingers clutch'd at Death. 

XXXVIII. 

The drops that thicken'd on my brow 
Fell earthward like the rain, 

As with eager haste and angry dread, 
I cover'd it up again, 

With stones and clods, and a burning 

strength 
Intangible to pain. 

.XXXIX. 

There burst on the air a scornful laugh, 

And a hand was laid on mine ; 
I started back as from a snake, 

And saw 'twas Heseltine. 
' So greedy, Aubrey ! Nay, be just, 

The treasure's mine and thine ; 
I've watch'd thee in thy moody walks, 

And seen thy ramble ends : 
Too much for one, enough for two, 

We'll share it, and be friends.' 

XL. 

'Friend of a robber who dogs my 

path ! ' 

I answer'd him in scorn ; 
I utter'd words that stung his pride, 

Too bitter to be borne. 
Taunt follow'd taunt he drove me 

mad 

He struck me on the face ; 
And quick as thought but thoughtless 

all, 

Except of the disgrace 
I raised the mallet in my hand 
And fell'd him in his place. 



154 



THE LUMP OF GOLD. 



XLI. 

His forehead bled he lay as dead 

I wiped his streaming cheek, . 
I would have given my heart's last drop 

If I could hear him speak. 
I call'd him by the dearest names, 

His senseless lips I kiss'd ; 
I sought for water ; I pray'd to Heaven ; 

I chafed his pulseless wrist, 
And cursed, in my deep, deep agony, 

The gold for which I'd slain 
A life that all the gold in the world 

Could ne'er bring back again. 

XLII. 

I wander'd forth to search for help ; 

I left him on the ground : 
I could not bury my dead myself ; 

I wander'd round and round, 
And lost my way in the weary night. 

All night long I strayM, 
Or sat upon the barren crags 

Alone, and not afraid, 
Except of a phantom blacker than night, 

That grew in my heart dismay'd. 

XLIII. 

I found the place at the dawn of day, 

But not the murder'd man ; 
Had strangers come and buried my 
dead, 

With heart-wrung pity and ban ? 
Or had the seeming dead revived 

From a blow that fail'd to kill, 
And lived for the sake of the dear, dear 
gold, 

And the vengeance, dearer still ? 

XLIV. 

A sudden frenzy raised my hair 

I knew not what I did ; 
But I thought the Golden Fiend arose 

From the ground where it lay hid, 
And chased me with convulsive steps 

Over the land and sea. 
Sitting beside me when I slept, 

Eating its bread with me ; 
Mocking me with its yawning eyes, 

Raising its yellow hand, 
And chiving, driving, driving me on, 

Over the sea and land, 



XLV. 

I fled it followed ; and though I knew 

'Twas the creature of my brain, 
Born of the agony of guilt, 

I strove with it in vain : 
Ever it follow'd and ever I fled, 

Over the land and sea, 
Mocking me with its yellow hand, 

Eating its bread with me ; 
And would have goaded me to death, 

Except for the love of thee. 

XLVI. 
A hideous likeness of myself, 

A torture to behold ; 
Part was throbbing flesh and blood, 

Part was senseless gold. 
It stood between- me and the sun 

It foul'd the healthy air ; 
I look'd to heaven, to fly its face, 

And lo ! the fiend was there. 
I look'd to earth, and at its feet 

I saw a yawning pit ; 
It grinn'd, and pointed with its hand. 

And said 'Thy bones will fit.' 

XLVII. 

And in the ship, as I hurried home, 

I saw it in the shrouds ; 
It came and went from ship to wave, 

From billow to the clouds ; 
It poison'd earth, it tainted heaven, 

And dared, when sleep drew near, 
To grasp me in its ghastly arms, 

And whisper in my ear 
And say, ' I've bought thee, body and 
soul; 

Look in my face, and fear ! 

XL VIII. 

Long wandering brought me home at 

last- 
On ! blessed be the hour ! 

[ saw thee in the parish church 
I felt the preacher's power, 

And hoped that I might die forgiven, 

And make my peace with thee and 

Heaven. 
And hour, more blessed still ! 

Thy father came to my sorrowful bed, 
And minister'd to mine ill. 

Be raised and comforted my heart 
He heard the tale I told 



TEE LUMP OF GOLD. 



155 



And laid with the unction of his words 
The haunting spirit of gold ; 

Repentance banish'd it from my sight, 
And I pray'd and was consoled. 

XLIX. 
'Twas he who taught me how to die, 

And better, oh ! better far ; 
He taught me how to live for thee, 

My joy and guiding star ! 
He found the living friend a^ain, 

And brought me from his hand. 
The visible proofs the written words 

That he lived in his native land, 
And had forgiven the wrong I did, 

When I smote him with my hand. 



Henceforth I'm thine, and only thine ! 
Content with little store, 

I'll let the red gold sleep in peace, 
And sell my soul no more. 

I'm happy as my heart can hope- 
Since my sin has been removed ; 

I envy no man's wealth or power, 
I love and am beloved. 

Spin round, big world ! thou'lt trouble 

me not ! 
Flare, Pomp ! thou'rt nought to me ! 

And strive, Ambition ; there's joy in 

the world 
Unknown to thine and thee ! 



EPILOGUE. 

SUCH was the tale ; and witness of its truth 
Came, ere the winter, Heseltme himself ; 
A fresh, full-bearded, brawny-shoulder'd man, 
Brown'd by the sun, and radiant with the strength 
Of travel and pure breezes ; a glad face 
Where guile or falsehood could not find a pore 
To hide or harbour in ; so clear it shone 
In candour and simplicity of mind. 

The friends long parted met like day and night, 
And there was sunrise in the hearts of both, 
And they were friends again, their friendship tried, 
Like iron in the furnace, turn'd to steel. 
' How of the gold ? ' said Heseltine one night, 
When round the fire the little household met, 
And the wind whistled through the outer door 
And boom'd and thunder'd down the chimney gorge. 
1 If there it lies,' said Aubrey, with a smile, 
'There let it lie for me ! I yield my right 
Of first discovery. If Columbus I, 
Amerigo Vespuccio thou shalt be, 
And take the glory and the recompense. 7 

' The nugget lies untouch'd, 7 said Heseltine. 
' After you sail'd, I heard that you had gone. 
And not to leave the gold for al'ien eyes, 
I visited the scene of our mishap, 
And there beheld the treasure cover'd up. 
I knew your hand, and put the final touch 
To the great work. Ay, you may laugh or doubt, 
But thus I did. I cover'd up the soil 
Above the treasure ; shaped it like a mound 



156 THE LUMP OF GOLD. 

Over a village grave. Forgive the deed ; 
In clerical presence it appears profane, 
And so I deem it now, and do not boast, 
But tell the truth, although against myself. 
And at the end I placed a little cross 
Of rudest workmanship, on which I graved 
Deep with my bowie knife this epitaph : 

" Him lit!) a simicr trouble not |ns bones." ' 

The parson shook his head, but yet he smiled. 
' If there be body-snatchers in the South, 
They'll find a prize/ said Aubrey. * Let them find ! 
Their monstrous nugget shall not vex my soul.' 

' 'Twill not be troubled/ answer'd Heseltine, 
' Till I return to dig it into light. 
I've made my pact. I've chosen all my men, 
You not gainsaying, stout of heart and hand ; 
And we shall sail to Melbourne as we may, 
And draw the treasure from the earth's good Bank 
Into the daylight, which it shall adorn ; 
Half shall be yours, and with the other half 
I'll pay my diggers, and all cost beside, 
And have sufficient to be more than rich. 

' A welcome and a bed in Aubrey Place, 
And a week's shooting o'er your forest lands 
Once in a year, is all that I shall ask 
To pay me back with usury all you owe. 
If you hate money much as once you loved, 
Learn wisdom from a ample-minded man. 
Why should we love or hate it, and not serve 
Great needs with it ? If sailors love the wind, 
And cooks the fire, and millers the full stream, 
Not for the sake of wind, or fire, or flood, 
But for great purpose, useful to mankind, 
bo should the wise love Gold ; but not too well, 
fcueh my philosophy and why not yours ?' 



A MAN'S 1IEAKT. 1858. 



PROLOGUE; 

How oft through maze and wilderness of Art 

Through regal and imperial galleries 

The traveller roams for half a summer's day, 

Vacant and listless ; looking with strain' d eyes 

At landscapes worthy of Salvator'e hand, 

At sweet Madonnas such as Guido loved, 

Or on such eloquent portraits, spirit-eyed, 

As great Vandyke or Rubens might have draAvu. 

Yet though/ he looks, he sees not, save a crowd 

Blent as the sands on shore, or leaves in wold ; 

Then sudden, by a flash, his careless will 

And wandering faculties are seized and fix'd 

By some sweet face, where Love and Sorrow strive 

Which of the two shall sanctify it most; 

Or by some ruder lineament of man, 

With power, and purpose, and relentless Fate, 

Seam'd in each shaggy furrow of the brow. 

Then is he conquerd spell-bound held in thrall- 

Until he throbs with inward sympathy, 

And knows them human, as he knows himself, 

By the fine fascination that he feels : 

They challenge him to pass them, if he dare, 

And look upon him witn mute, eloquent eyes, 

That seem to say, ' Come, read our mystery ! ' 

Their glances follow him where'er he goes ; 

And so he stands, spell-bound, to give them back 

Keen inquisition, and a stare for stare. 

He reads whole histories in their painted orbs, 

And looks into the chambers of their house, 

And saith, 'This woman loved, and suffered much, 

Or, ' This man's pride was wounded to the quick 

In the fierce hates and battles of the world ; 

This was pre-doom'd to Misery as his dower ! ' 

Or, * This died young I see it in her eyes.' 

He holds communion with them on the wall, 

And knows them better than his living friends. 

Oh wrmrlrnns Art ! more wondrous Svmrathv ! 



158 A MAN'S HEART. 

Such picture saw I in an ancient hall 
The portrait of a lady with dark hair, 
And deep dark eyes, with lightnings in their depths ; 
And lips that seem'd to quiver with a grief 
That Death itself was impotent to hide. 

The picture haunted me possess'd me quite, 
Like some sweet tune, bewildered in the brain, 
That will not pass, though we should thrust it out ; 
A present spirit never to be laid 
In the far oceans of forgetfuluess 
By any magic, or adjuring word, 
Until its time ; when as it came it goes 
Strong in itself, defiant of our will. 

The spirit spake to me ; the likeness breathed ; 
- I knew the lady and her inmost soul ; 
Saw her heart's mystery clearer than my own. 
Listen, and you shall learn it as I leam'd : 
A tale of Love and Sorrow, Sorrow and Love. 
When shall these twain be parted ? Nevermore ! 



CANTO I. AMONG THE FLOWERS. 

'TWAS May sweet May the jocund English May- 
May, growing buxom in the breath of June, 
When, ; mid the grass besprent through all its green 
With gold and silver ; gold, the buttercups, 
And silver, boss'd Avith gold, and tipp'd with pink, 
The bounteous daisies, jewels of the poor, 
Four sweeter blossoms of the teeming earth, 
Flow'rets of humankind, God's noblest gifts, 
Sported hi sunshine, in the chequer'd glades 
Of Eiiwood Park a joyous company, 
Blithe as the birds and fresh as morning dews. 
Two of the four were twins, and nine years old 
Disseyer'd cherries from the selfsame stalk, 
And like as cherries to a stranger's eye. 
They chased the butterfly ; they clomb the trees ; 
They leap'd the running stream, or lay them down 
With skyward faces, shaded by their arms, 
Weary and spent with frolic that had pass'd, 
Eager and ripe for frolic yet to come. 

Apart, then- sister, seven sweet summers young, 
bat pleased and happy underneath a thorn, 
That dropp'd its pink- eyed blossoms in her lap 
A cherub and a seraph both in one. 

Around her forehead, twined amid her hair, 
She wore a wreath of daisies, newly pluck'd 
And strung on rushes, by the master-hand 
Of one three summers older than herself, 



A MAN'S HEART. 159 

A black-eyed, rosy-cheek'd, and pensive boy, 
Whose greatest joy was study of her face ; 
And who head wov'n the wreath to crown her queen- 
Queen of his heart which felt but did not know 
For golden haze of youthful ignorance 
The sorrowful joy and feverish bliss of love. 
Prompting his thought, and sparkling in his eyes. 
Dear friends they were, although they wist not why, 
And close companions. ' Sit quite still/ he said, 
' Dear Edith : do not move your head an inch 
Till I have drawn your portrait/ 

And he drew, 

With facile fingers, and a ready touch 
For one so young, a semblance of the maid, 
Crown'd with her garland, and alight with smiles, 
And wrote beneath it, ' Edith ArundeL 
By Arthur Westwood, on a morn of May.' 

* For me 1 ' she ask'd him, with mquiring eyes ; 
Then put the uaper in her tiny breast 
And thank'd him with a glance, a word a kiss ; 
While he, the artist, proud of such a work, 
But prouder of acceptance, and reward, 
Restored the falling garland to her hair, 
And led her to her brothers, where they stood, 
Scaring with stones the minnows in the brook ; 
And said, ' Behold her ; she's the Queen of May, 
And I'm the King ! ' Whereat one laugh'd and jeerM : 
The other, all intent upon a trout 
Which he espied beneath a ledge of rock, 
Took off his shoes, and paddled in the stream, 
Heedless of brother, sister, and the world. 

Ten winters pass'd, and once again 'twas May : 
The bovs were men, the maid was sweet seventeen ; 
And all were friends, as in the olden time. 

Rich were the Arundels surpassing rich : 
Compared with them young Westwood was but poor, 
Though rich enough to pass his morn of life 
To his own fancy, and the art he loved ; 
To show a fair exterior to the world, 
And seem, and be an English gentleman. 

Two years, or e'er his eyes beheld the morn, 
His father, stepping from a gondola, 
Stood in the market-place an idle man, 
And watch'd the peasant girls of Friuli 
Bring flowers to flowerless Venice. Young and fair, 
He roam'd for pastime, master of himself, 
To study Art and Nature in the South. 
Here, as he loitered to refresh his soul 
With beauty fashion'd in immortal stone ; 
Painted on canvas ; streaming from the sky; 



]60 A MAN'S HEART. 

Impermeate in all shapes of earth and heaven; 
He saw a maiden lovelier than Art 
Had e'er imagined in its happiest dream ; 
With all Italia in her glowing face- 
Its beauty, passion, tenderness, and hope. 

He saw, admired, and fancied that he loved; 
Love born of idleness and young Romance ! 
He purchased roses and anemones, 
And bade her come to-morrow with fresh flowers, 
The choicest she could gather. Morrow came ; 
And with it came the maiden and her blooms ; 
Herself a rose and lily both in one ; 
Faker than lily redder than the rose, ** 
And with a warmth of summer in her smiles 
Enough to ripen all the buds of spring. 

He overpaid her with too bounteous gold. 
Which she refused, with such a wealth of shame 
That he was awed ; and, more enaraourU still, 
He sued for pardon like the veriest slave 
Who hath incensed a master that he loves, 
And cannot rest until his peace be made. 

She came no more to Venice. Every day 
He watch'd the arriving gondolas and barques, 
In hope to see the maid among her peers 
A queen-like rose among mere daffodils ; 
But she, Francesca Pia, ne'er return'd. 

He gazed upon the blue Friulian Alps, 
Snow-capp'd and sharp against the cloudless heaven 
And thought how blissful all his days might be, 
Forgetting England and his ancient home, 
If in life's noon he might, beloved of her, 
Dwell in the valleys, careless of the world. 

He sought her was repulsed and sought again ; 
Till passion, like a flame oy tempest fann'd, 
Throve on obstruction, and consumed his soul. 

Thus did he live and suffer ; thus in pain 
Refine an idle fancv into love- 
Love golden freed by Sorrow's fire from dross 
Love purified the love of soul to soul. 
And she took pity ; she the peasant girl 
Met the proud English stranger face to face, 
And gave her hand, like lady to a lord, 
Equal hi love, and pride, and sacrifice, 
Superior in her purity of heart. 

Well she became her new-bom dignity, 
Learn'd English from the lessons of her heart, 
And spake it with a prettiness of fault 
More lovely than perfection, learn'd to sing ; 
And sung with such a gush of melody, 



A MAWS HEART. iei 

That staid approval of the English mood 
Forgot itself in rapture. 

But she died, 

Puiing for Italy ; a flower too fail- 
To brave unscathed the winds of Northern skies, 
And harsh vicissitude of moist and cold ; 
And Arthur Westwood never smiled again ; 
Or if he did, 'twas in his silent home, 
Where his young boy her boy her only child 
Smiled in his face and prattled at his knee, 
And brought before him vividly as life 
The fond eyes the bright cheek the tender voice 
The breathing spirit of the sainted dead. 

Great was the mutual love of sire and son. 
To the boy's heart the father was a sage ; 
In wisdom and in goodness chief of men ; 
To the sire's heart the child was love alone, 
A love all innocence half earth half heaven 
The link uniting both. 

So lived the twain 

In a fair cottage on the green hill slope, 
EmbowerM 'mid clambering roses. All who pass'd 
Admired the outward grace and inward calm 
Of their secluded nest. Around it spread 
Elm, beech, and oak, and delicate silver birch, 
And all the stateliest trees of English growth ; 
And in the spring, the lilac and the ash, 
Laburnum and the bridal-vestured haw, 
Scatter'd their brightest blooms and richest balms. 

Few were the friends who had the privilege 
To enter their abode : the Vicar first, 
The guest most welcome to the widower's hearth, 
Of tastes congenial. Both loved Art, and books, 
Music, and ever-dear Philosophy ; 
Such as those know it, who on mountain tops 
Look on the little wranglers far adown 
And sun themselves, bare-headed, to the Truth 
That beams upon them from the upper sky ; 
Philosophy twin born with Piety, 
That teaches love to God with love to man. 
And next Sir Thomas Arundel ; though rare 
Were his intrusions on the quiet haunts 
Of one so different in his walk of thought, 
So lost to all the warfare of the world, 
So alien to its pride, its pomp, its care. 

Within a mile of Westwood's cottage stood 
The Hall of Erlwood, with its towers antique, 
Seen through an arching avenue of elms ; 
The park a thousand acres swarm'd with deer ; 
And in its thickest groves a heronry 
Gave life to the upper air. Within its bound 



162 A MAWS HEART. 



Hose many a hollow and rough-rinded oak, 
That still put forth its leaflets to the spring, 
Though mouldy leases of King Charles's day, 
Based on tradition, deem'd them centimes old 
Ere stout King Harry wedded Anne Boleyn, 
And from fat Abbeys dispossess'd the monks. 

Here dwelt Sir Thomas three months in the year ; 
Playing the squire or, as he thought, the lord 
A very lord in ah 1 things but the rank. 

The great Sir Thomas ! If his name were heard 
At Lloyd's, the Exchange, in Bank, or Counting House, 
In London, Paris, Hamburg, or New York, 
The rich and poor all gave it reverence ; 
And struggling merchants drew a longer breath, 
And sighed to think what tides and seas of wealth 
Pour'd in his coffers, while to theirs, agape, 
Fell but the scanty rain or vanishing dew ! 
And if that name, a scarcely legible scrawl, 
Promised to pay a million on demand, 
The bankers of all cities hi the world 
Would count it freely at a million's worth, 
And give or take it readily as gold. 

The great Sir Thomas ! It were hard to say 
On what far oceans never sail'd his ships, 
Laden with costly ventures, well insured ; 
In what old channels of perennial trade 
His profits did not run ; or in what new 
He did not tap the founts of enterprise, 
And bear away the draught from thirstier lips. 
His name was in the mouths of busy men, 
Spoken hi every language known to Trade ; 
And never spoken but with such respect 
As traders ever feel for those who pay, 
And the weak strive to render to the strong. 

This prosperous man was in his prime of years, 
Had health and strength, the admiring world's applause ;- 
Two sons to be partakers of his toil, 
And raise to nobler heights his tower of wealth ; 
A daughter, lovely, innocent, rose-ripe 
The joy, the charm, the jewel of his life; 
And though the world might sometimes pity him 
That Edith's gain was loss of her who bore 
His love, if e'er he felt it, had expired 
"When his young wife was taken to the grave, 
And dwelt but faintly in his memory. 

All else was his, wealth and the will to spend, 
Taste, education, and a liberal hand, 
A seat in Parliament, an eloquent tongue, 
And power to sway the councils of -the realm; 



A MAN'S HEART. 163 

And yet this man, so seeming fortunate, 
Pined with a secret sorrow for a toy. 
The potent Minister, who ruled the State 
And moulded plastic factions to his will, 
Bcom'd with a gentle, but invincible scorn, 
The frivolous herd whose service might be bought 
With ribands, garters, coronets, and stars : 
And when Sir Thomas, as the sole reward 
Of vote, and speech, and ready influence, 
Ask'd for a peerage, gave him for reply, 
A vague half-promise and his blandest smile : 
The promise meaningless, if 'twere not false 
The smile another promise, vaguer still. 

Hope was his comforter, which comforts all. 
Should not his sons, in fulness of their hour, 
Sit by his side to vote and legislate ? 
One for the county, ravish'd at a blow 
From the Fitz-Nevilles, Earls of little wealth, 
Who jobb'd it for the pickings of the State ? 
The other, destined for the county town, 
To win it by his talents, if he could 
If not, to buy it ; yet not seem to buy ? 
Then should the Premier at his peril dare 
To scorn the claim, made strong by three good votes 
Then should Ins honours glitter on his brow, 
And the calm evening of his sunny day 
Glow in a purple splendour to its close. 

If this hope fail'd him, had he not his child, 
His lovely Edith, docile as a fawn 
On whom Fitz-Neville, hale, though past his prime, 
Look'd-with the favouring eye of sage resolve, 
And deem'd her paragon of all her sex 
Kind, good, and beautiful, his soul's true star 
The magnet of his fortunes and his hopes 2 
Thus, if no peer, he might be sire of peers. 
The Earl once scorn'd him as too lowly born ; 
But that was past ; and if his Edith chose 
To wear the coronet, the day should come 
When he, the princely trader, should restore 
The tamish'd splendour of an ancient house, 
And place it high in fortune as in rank. 

Much he preferred the peerage for himself 
Due tribute to his greatness. * What ! ' he asked, 
* Is this proud Earl, who holds his head so high? 
The tenth descendant of a random boy, 
Who studied law and ripen'd to a judge, 
When good Queen Bess sought merit in the mire, 
And set it up aloft ; and if such boy 
Could found a peerage centuries ago, 
Why not a merchant of the present time, 



164 A MAWS HEART. 

With wealth enough to buy a score of Earls ? ' 
Thus did he dream, and calculate, and dream, 
And sacrifice the substance of to-day 
For empty shadows of a day to come. 

And now, 'tis morning, and the month is May ; 
And through the sunny glades of Erlwood Park 
Flits beauty in its fairest human shape. 
For Edith loves the country, and has left 
London, the Court, the Opera, the Ball, 
To have one month with nature and the sun ; 
And then, again, to high festivity 
And all the weary over-heated life, 
That Fashion loves. Sir Thomas cannot come, 
Save from a Saturday till Monday mom 
For the State needs him, or the Minister ; 
And are they not the same ? to vote and speak 
And help to save that old and fabulous Ship 
Which never sinks ; though politicians say 
'Tis always sinking when the Wliigs are in, 
And always foundering when the Whigs are out. 

The Westwoods are at home as is their wont 
The smoke curls bluely from their sylvan bower 
And Arthur angles in the Erlwood Brook 
Or carves initials on the beechen rind, 
Or carols to himself his own new son* 
On ' the old, old story' old as human hearts. 
The ancient Abbey is aflare with life 
Of servants and retainers. Edith's aunt 
Keeps stately house ; and Edith's milk-white doe 
Pet of the park, and wild to all but her, 
follows its gentle mistress o'er the lawn, 
And nibbles dainties from her coaxing hand 
Ine flag floats from the turret, that the world 
A little world, but large to villagers- 
May learn that great Sir Thomas is at home 
And give him if it meet him what he loves 
Homage that vassals render to their lords 
And such as common souls, who dwell in cots, 
Should yield to those who dwell in palaces 
And give them Christmas coals and good advice. 

CANTO II. UNDER THE TREES. 

'THE old face ' said his father, bending low 
Over the easel, where the picture stooo 5 - 
yueen Berengaria, Coeur de Lion's love 
Girding her lord to fight the Saracen-' 



Like as a rose to rose or star to star ? ' 



A MAN'S HEART. 165 

1 1 strove,' said Arthur, ' when I plann'd this work 
My master-piece, my favourite, my best 
To paint another face, another form ; 
But all in vain ; the colours would not blend 
Obedient to my will ; the rebel hand, 
Knowing the face I loved, broke through my law. 
Not Richard's queen, but my queen my sole 
Lived on the canvas in my mind's despite. 
So, when I painted, half a year ago, 
Godiva pleading with Earl Leofric 
To stay the plague of taxes, 'twas the same. 
I traced fair hair ; but, lo ! the locks grew dark ; 
The blue eyes kindled into passionate black, 
And the old face the dear face best beloved 
The type and model of mild womanhood, 
Look'd on me smiling. Do you think it like 1 ' 

' Ay/ said his father ; * yet it wants the soul 
Of childhood, girlhood, womanhood all mix'd, 
Which Edith wears, as summer wears its bloom.' , 

1 Alas ! ' said Arthur, 'it defies all Art 
To paint such living loveliness as hers. 
Not one expression, or one soul divine. 
Bas my beloved but a thousand souls, 
All peering through the splendours of her eyes, 
And each, ere you can fix it in your thought, 
Sparkling away to one more lustrous still : 
Pity, and Charity, and infinite Love, 
Sweet Mirth and sweeter Sadness, on her lips, 
Follow each other in one throb of Time. 
Art would reflect them ; but its mirror, dull 
As the breeze-ruffled bosom of a lake, 
Unresting, insufficient, fails to show 
The evanescent multitudinous charms 
That live, and change, and die, and live anew 
On all the radiant landscape of her mind.' 

There pass'd a shadow on the father's face ; 
His own warm youth and passionate impulses 
And bright unreason rose before his mind, 
Reviving in his son, with added fires ; 
Italian fervour linked with English heart. 

* Arthur,' he said, ' we'll go to Italy ; 
A year of travel in the balmy South 
Wfll give me health and spirits which I lack, 
And you the opportunity, long sought, 
Of study in the paradise of Art. 



We'll go to Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, 
And end with Venice, which I love so well. 1 

' Your will be mine, my father,' said the son, 
While sudden pallor overspread his cheek, 



166 A MAN'S HEART. 

Then pass'd, and left it ruddy as before ; 
* Next week ay, or to-morrow if you will 
Whate'er you deem shall be tha best for you, 
That also shall be very best for me.' 

And the sire smiled the smile he seldom wore 
The silvery radiance of a mind at ease ; 
And both departed to their several tasks 
The father to his organ ; mid his books, 
To form sweet harmonies on minor keys, 
Breathing a heavenly joy through human pain ; 
To dally with the thronging melodies 
That came unbidden to nis finger tips, 
Each with a meaning, dying in its birth, 
A riddle, and a mystery, and a charm ; 
The son to work upon his master-piece 
To imitate the features that he loved, 
And fix the well-known heart-bewildering charm 
Indelible on canvas. All in vain ! 
The mind was with the Nature, not the Art, 
And gave no guidance to the listless hand. 

' I cannot paint ! I cannot read ! I'll walk 
Forth in the sunny air to Erlwood park ; 
And if I meet her. 'twill be well if not, 
I'll sit and dream beneath the beechen tree 
Whereon, three springs ago, I carved her name 
The twin initials intertwined Avith mine. 
Happy conjunction ! Lo ! with moss o'ergrown, 
Green as the leaves above, they flourish still ! ' 

Ah, well he knew the road that she would take, 
The road, the by-path, and the hour o' th' day, 
Her footfall on the grass, the floAvering thorn 
That she Avould stop at, and select a twig 
To place upon her bosom, like a gem 
Which he, who knew it, on such holy place, 
Would gladly purchase at a ruby's price ; 
A mile off he descried her glancing robes ; 
A mile off saAv her favourite milk-white doe 
Bounding before, or eating from her hand 
The tender shoots from branches she had pluck'd, 
Or beech nuts hoarded ere the Avinter days. 

And nearer as she drew he saw her hair 
Freshly dishevell'd to the Avestern breeze, 
That came and Avent amid its lucent threads 
As in the strings of the Eolian harp 
Passes the night Avind ; but all noiselessly 
Making a silent music in his thought. 
Nearer ! still nearer ! 'tis her tread he hears 
Amid the daisies ! ; Tis her silken robe 
Rustling the way-side grasses ! 'Tis her voice 
A palpable music on the morning air ! 



A MAN'S HEART. 



167 



And lo ! she reads ; a book? No ! hush ; poor heart, 
Thou knowest what she reads, or soon shalt know ! 

Love's fondest meetings have the fewest words. 
Wei-'t not for silence, or the touch of hands, 
Or glance of mingling eyes, how could the soul 
Convey its meanings 1 Language can but hint 
Darkly and vaguely what the spirit feels. 

These two were happy. Though no word of love 
Came from the lips of either, love was breathed. 
Though vows were not imagined, vows were made ; 
And when at last the one great subject came 
To the coy tongue, 'twas but in subterfuge, 
Or skilful acting of a delicate play, 
Cunningly plotted to an end foreknown. 

* I've read thy verse/ said Edith as they sat 
Together on the sward beneath the tree, 
And drew the folded paper from her Breast ; 
* But let the poet read the poet's thought ; 
'Tis fire of soul that makes the fire of speech,'* 
And songs come freshest from the lips of bards/ 
He took the paper, blushing. Happy he 
Who had not in the moil and wear of life 
Dull'd the fine spirit in the sensitive blood 
Which brought it gushing, flood-like, to his cheeks ! 
To be so praised by her, and so besought, 
Was it not as sweet sunshine to the ground 
When all the flowers leap up to kiss the spring ; 
Or sight of land to weary mariners 
When merry bells peal welcome from the shore ? 

He blush'd for pride, and deeper blush'd for shame ; 
Then taking courage, read the maid the tale 
With quivering voice husky at times for tears ; 
But with an emphasis, well barb'd and aim'd, 
To reach the guarded fortress of her heart, 
And win an entrance through some narrow chink 
That guileless Pity had forgot to close. 



GERALDINE. 



SHE was the daughter of an Earl, 
And I the Rector's son ; 

I loved her more than blessed life, 
And never loved but one. 

She took my homage as the rose 
Might take the morning dew ; 



Or a cloud on the eastern rim of Heaven 
The daylight gushing new. 

ii. 

She took it as of right divine, 

And never thoug-ht of me, 
No more than the rose, of the morning 
dew 

That bathes it tenderly ; 
Or the river, of the light of God 

That shines on its waters free. 



168 



A MAN'S HEART. 



in. 

I loved her for herself alone, 
And not for rank or gold ; 

I was as heedless of her wealth 
As a daisy on the wold ; 

Or a bird that sings 'mid the hawthorn 

buds 
When forest leaves unfold. 

IV. 

I loved her for herself alone, 

And dream'd in summer eves, 
That the Earl, her sire, was a husband- 
man 

Amid his barley sheaves ; 
And she. a dark-eyed peasant girl, 

As ruddy as the May, 
With a smile more rich and golden bright 

Than the dawn of a summer's day, 
With a voice like the melody of lutes, 

And breath like the new-mown hay. 

v. 
I loved her for herself alone, 

And wish'd that she were poor, 
That I might guide her through the 
world, 

A guardian ever sure, 
And through all peril and distress, 

Conduct her steps aright ; 
That I might toil for her by day, \ 

And sit in her smile at night : 
My toil, a burden cheerily borne. 

For her, my heart's .delight ! 

VI. 

My soul burst forth in floods of song, 

When I thought my love return'd, 
And proud ambitions fill'd my heart, 

And through my pulses burn'd. 
There was no glory men could snatch 

Too vast for my desire, 
And all to place upon her brow, 

Higher and ever higher ; 
Till hers was greater than mine own, 

And robed her as with fire. 

VII. 

And when I thought her heart was cold, 

And no response was given, 
My mournful passion sought relief 

From sympathetic Heaven. 
And Nature s heart, more kind than 
hers, 

Made answer all day long, 



The wild-wind sigh'd, the rain-cloud 

wept, 

The streams made plaintive song, 
And the hoarse sea-billows chanted 

hymns 
Condoling with my wrong. 

VIII. 

I put my passion into verse, 

I built it into rhyme, 
And told my hopes, my joys, my fears, 

In a tale of olden time : 
And read it on the garden seat, 

With green boughs overhung, 
She by my side so beautiful, 

And I so mad and young. 

IX. 

She praised the bard : she prophesied 

A glowing noon of fame, 
To him who sang so sweet a song 

Of Love's supernal flame ; 
But could not see, perchance for tears, 

And sympathies divine, 
The living passion of the verse 

That throbb'd in every line, 
The fable, but the garb of truth 

The love, the sorrow, mine. 

x. 
I had not courage to declare, 

Lest hope should be denied, 
The pangs that wrestled with my peace , 

< Oh, foolish heart!' I sigh'd, 
To look so high ! But wherefore not ? 

Love, like the liberal sun, 
Takes no account of human pride, 

And scorns or favours none : 
Look up, sad heart ! thy thoughts are 
pure, 

Thy Heaven may yet be won ! ' 

XI. 

One mom, oh, well remember'd 
time ! 

I met her on the lawn, 
With streaming hair, and ripe red lips, 
Blithe as Aurora, when she slips 

The curtains of the dawn. 
From balmy skies of cloudless blue, 

Dropp'd music like the rain, 
Ten thousand merry minstrels sang 

The one exulting strain : 
' We thank thee, Day, for all thy gifts, 

And welcome thee again J ' 



A MAN'S 



169 



XII. 

'.i was the bursting of the flower ! 

She could not choose but hear ; 
could not choose, but speak the word; 

* My Geraldine ! my dear ! ' 

never dared, in all I felt, 

To name her name before ; 
Jnloosen'd were the founts of speech, 

My tongue was mute no more : 
And kneeling at her feet, I craved 

Permission to adore. 

XIII. 

She blush'd with pleasure and surprise, 

And when I touch'd her hand, 
n dim wild fervour, born of joy, 

Too rash for my command, 
he did not slay me with a look; 

But from her eyes she threw 
weet invitations welcomes sweet 

And greetings old and new ; 
was uplifted from the false 

I soartl into the true. 



XIV. 

In utter dark, devoid of hope, 

^What evil passions glare, 
Like lurid torches waved at night 

In foul and misty air. 
But in the light of happy love 

All evil passions die, 
Or fade like tapers when the sun 

Hides cloudless in the sky ; 
They pale, they wane, they disappear 

And in that light was I ! 

xv. 
Till then, I never thought or knew 

What charms all Nature bore, 
How beautiful were Earth and Heaven; 

I never lived before. 
But from that moment nobler life 

Through all my senses ran ; 
Deep in the mysteries of Time, 

I saw the inner plan, 
The holiness of Life and Love, 

The dignity of man ! 



So ran the fable that his fancy drew, 
Made for her heart, but woven from his own. 
And when the tale was done, and silence fell 
So palpable betwixt them, that the grass 
Seem'd rustling loudly in the startled air, 
The green leaves babbling secrets from the boughs, 
And the lark's song dropp'd on them like a weight 
He blush'd deep blushes which her cheeks returned ; 
And she launch'd meanings from her glistening eyes. 
Which his caught up, and flash'd exulting back; 
And both were conscious of a new delight, 
And breathed the vows that once, and only once. 
The heart can speak with equal purity. 

Dream on, poor children ! dream, and never wake ! 
In all your raptures come they thick as flowers 
That April tosses to the lap of May, 
You'll never find a rapture like to this ! 
Dream on, poor children ! dream, and fear to wake- 
When sorrow looms, the memory of this hour 
Shall shine like Hesper through the gathering dark, 
And you shall say, 'Once in the days of youth 
We had a vision and a glimpse of Heaven 1 
Once in the morning of our cloudy day 
There gush'd upon us overpowering joy, 
Keen as the lightning flash, and lost as soon ! 
Let us be grateful, we have lived and loved, 
Tasted ambrosia, feasted with the gods ! 
Was it a dream? What more is Cesar's throne, 



170 A MAN'S HEART. 

Or great Napoleon's, when the end has come ? 
Was it a dream '? Could we such dream renew, 
And brush away from our enchanted land 
The dust and cobwebs of reality, 
We'd sleep once more, and never ask to wake/ 

CANTO III. FAR AWAY. 

SAILING in sunshine through the blue lagoons 
Of melancholy Venice, sire and son 
Discoursed together in the gondola. 
Westwood had letters from his English home 
Made dear to memory by a year's long lapse, 
And Arthur ask'd the news. 

1 News private? Small : 

News public? Great ; though small to you and me. 
The Whigs are out, the Tories have come in, 
And Parliament's dissolved ; and that is all ! ' 

1 All ? Quite enough ! ' said Arthur. ' Then farewell, 
Thou poor Sir Thomas, to thy fondest hopes ; 
Thou'lt never be a peer, thou'st lost thy chance, 
For ne'er did Tories make a Whig a Lord ! 
And I am glad that one obstruction less 
Stands betwixt Edith Aruudel and me. 
Ah me ! I would she were a poor man's child, 
That I might win her for the love I bear, 
Freed from the vile suspicion of the world, 
That money always money money-dirt 
Attracts my passion, as the flame the moth. 
And is there nothing else ? ' 

* But little more ; 

The ancient land's astir with wholesome life, 
And all the great athletee of the time 
Gird on their armour. England needs her sons, 
And were I young again, as thou art now, 
I think I'd mingle in the clash of arms, 
Or clash of tongues if that's the better phrase. 
Hast never felt such prompting in thy blood ? 
Lo, the world throbs with mighty impulses, 
And the great battle of the Right and Wrong 
Calls up the nations : England ever first, 
France second, and this Italy, the third 
And most unhappy.' 

'Ay!' replied his son, 

' Fve had such thoughts ; and deem'd it sometimes wrong 
That I should loiter out my morn of life, 
When strong true hearts are needed ; yet why iiot \ 
My life is in its May, and looks for flowers 
The harvest is not yet.' 

' 'Twould give me joy, 



A MAN'S HEART. 171 

The sire made answer, * could I see thee fix 

Thy heart on some great object seen afar, 

To lead thee upwards ; not for sake of fame, 

Which thou couldst win, if it deserved thy thought, 

But for the sake of action, which exalts 

And strengthens while it purifies the soul. 

My days are wasted ; in my yellow leaf 

I see no fruit. I've dream'd my life away, 

And by the light, or shadow, of my faults 

I see the nobler path which thou shouldst take. 

Believe me, Art can poorly satisfy 

A soul like thine. It may refine thy tastes, 

And be the charm and solace of thine hours, 

When wearied for awliile with sterner work ; 

But action best becomes the noble mind. 

Those who have gifts owe something to the State, 

And 'tis this debt, so bountifully paid 

By English gentlemen, that sends the name 

Of England, like a watchword, o'er the world 

Watchword of Liberty and steadfast Law.' 

* Ay, ay ! yet cannot all men serve the State 
In the same fashion ? He who writes a book 
Brimful of noble thoughts, doth he not serve ? 
And he who sings a song which elevates 

The poor man's heart, and makes it throb with joy, 

Hath he done nothing ? He who carves a stone 

Into immortal beauty, is not he 

As great and noble as the man who talks 

On Opposition benches half the night ? 

Or on the Treasury benches drones and prates 

About his Budget and his Income Tax, 

And his five farthings on the pound of tea ? 

'Tis well, no doubt, to be a Senator, 

To make the laws of England, and direct 

Great policy to rightful aims and ends, 

Or thwart great policy when it is wrong : 

But these things are not all. A nation's weal 

Cannot be made by Acts of Parliament ; 

And some must write, some sing, some dance, some paint, 

Some teach, some preach, or else the manners fade, 

And all the pith of nations shrivels up, 

And sapless realms go down to their decay. 

My calling's Art-; and 'twill suffice my soul.' 

* But/ said his father, ' Art is but a dream 
To those, like thee, who love it for itself 
And not for wealth, or as the means- to rise 
To social eminence of power and fame. 

If thou hadst not a sixpence in the world, 
Nor I a sixpence to divide with thee, 
Art might absorb thee, and thou Avouldst excel ; 
But now 'tis but thy vision and thy toy.' 



172 A MAN'S HEART. 

1 What else were politics ? ' the son replied. 
1 Thou'dst fill me with ambition ; but taKe care ! 
I have it in me. If that flame be fed 
It may burn higher than thy peace or mine 
Would give it room for. But the time's not yet. 
I'm but a boy, and hate boy senators ; 
I'm but a youth, and hate to see a youth 
Mount in the pulpit, preaching to old men : 
I'm but a student, let me study on.' 

'Twos three months afterwards: they'd gone to Rome, 
Seen all its sights ; been sadden'd day by day 
At the great spectacle of Death in Life 
The old Rome dead ; the new Rome dying fast, 
And most unworthy ever to have lived 
On such a grave, and taken such a name : 
And they were starting for the balmier south, 
To Capri, 'mid the olives and the vines, 
When Westwood, sitting sadly by himself, 
Read, and re-read a letter just received 
From his best friend, and comrade of his heart 
The Vicar. 

' My poor boy ! ' the father said, 
' How will he bear it ? how shall I make known 
This utter blight of his fast blossoming hopes ? 
This desecration of the holy shrine 
Which he imagined in a woman's heart ? 
And she has yielded ! yielded to her aunt, 
Her father, and her brothers all her kin, 
And given her hand to that superb old Earl, 
Who loved so well her father's money-bags ! 
Alas ! poor Arthur ! hush ! the victim comes ! ' 

Singing a song, exuberant with joy, 
Arthur came bounding to his father's door, 
His face so fresh his eyes so bright his smile 
So full of happiness and inward peace, 
That Westwood shudder'd at the cruelty 
Of undeceiving him, and wish'd some tongue, 
Other than his, might tell the bitter tale, 
Or any time but that might suit the task. 

He was unskilful in concealing grief ; 
His eyes betray'd him. ' Father, what is this ?' 
Said Arthur, tenderly. He stretch'd his hand, 
And gave his son the letter. 

Arthur read 

Calmly and silently, without a start 
Or motion, save a quivering of the lip, 
Scarcely perceptible ; then folded up 
The document that held such weight of woe, 
And gave it back into his father's hands, 
And said, with slow, precise, and measured words, 



A J/1LVW 



Calm as the motion of a cataract 

When it flows shelving to the precipice 

* Had any other name been sigu'd but that, 

I should have call'd him liar to his teeth ! 

Comfort me not. I cannot bear a word 

Except in anger. Call me idiot, fool 

A credulous, gaping, green, and unripe fool 

But do not comfort me. I'm sick at heart ! 

Where is the Times ? no doubt 'tis blazon'd there, 

In the broad columns, " MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE; 

The Earl Fitz-Neville and his youthful bride, 

The daughter of Sir Thomas Arundel, 

Left Erlwood Abbey yesterday, for France, 

To pass the honey month." Oh, fair young bride ! 

Oh, ardent bridegroom fifty years of age, 

A little older five years at the least 

Than the bride's father. Happy happy Earl ! ' 

And he laugh' d wildly at the torturing thought, 

And clench el his hand and smote it on his brow. 

His father press'd his hand, but spake no word ; 
And the son lean'd his head on that broad breast, 
Paternal, warm ; and, after little space, 
Sobb'd on it like a child. ' Forgive,' he said, 
' This burst of grief, for never never more 
In any sorrow will I weep again ! 
And let her names her old one and her new 
Never again be breathed between us two.' 

They went to Naples, thence to Sicily, 
And thence to Athens. Arthur could not rest. 
He thought he'd like to row upon the Nile, 
And see the Pyramids ; and so they went, 
And roVd upon the Nile, and thought it dull - f 
And saw the Pyramids, and thought them small. 

And next they tried the Desert what of that ] 
It was a desert ; but in their degree, 
Pall Mall, the Boulevards, and the Grand Canal, 
Are they not deserts also, if the heart 
Find not another heart in all their scope 
To change a feeling with 1 So back they turn'd, 
And came to Pera and the Golden Horn, 
Where Arthur fumed and fretted at the Turks, 
And niourn'd the fate of such a lovely land, 
Encumber'd by such people. 

In one week, 

Tired of the Turks, and all that Turkey held, 
The yielding father and the impetuous son 
Debated to which spot of all the world 
They next should travel. ' Back to Italy ? ' 
'Ay, that were well,' said Arthur; 'for I fear 
This ceaseless whirl, that whirls me out of self, 
Mav do thee mischief. Let us rest awhile 



A MAN'S HEART. 

In some decaying city of the Po, 

In Mantua or in Padua : yet, alas ! 

I fancy in such quietude as that 

The burning rust would eat ii to my heart, 

And leave thee childless. Let us try the Alps, 

And in the gorgeous Bernese Oberland 

Dwell in the valleys, 'mid the simple folk, 

Where thou canst be at rest, and I can climb 

Great Monte Rosa and the Wetterhorn, 

Or Jungfrau ; scale high rocks, and tread on snow 

Where human footsteps never trod before. 

I have a spirit in me that hard work 

And vigorous exercise alone can quell. 

Wer't not for thee, who lovest me so much, 

I'd join some enterprise to trace the Nile, 

Lay bare the roots of Niger, or explore 

Australia's inner lakes of salt and sand 

Anything desperate ! ' 

c Has Art no more 

Its ancient charm to fill thee,' said his sire, 
* With high resolve of something to be done ? ' 

* I should be painting Ediths evermore ! ' 
He answer'd, bitterly. * The very brush 
Rebels against me when I take it up, 
And plagues me with a Countess. Art grows dull, 
Since she grew false. Could I invade, besiege, 
And storm a borough by the dint of tongue, 
I'd be well pleased to sit in Parliament. 
If Love be stale, Ambition's ever fresh ! 
So, if agreed, we'll turn our footsteps back 
To murky London ; there, perchance, I'll find 
Something or other, huge or strong enough 
To lay the constant devil that gnaws my neart/ 

' Our English politics want stirring up ; 
They need the infusion of some younger blood ; ' 
Replied his father. ' Trade and trading things 
Befit a trading nation such as ours ; 
But Trade ; f or ever Trade and dull Maynpoth, 
Where Bigot fights with Bigot ; and sometimes 
An episode about the Sabbath day, 
When some men think it shame to wear a smile, 
And criminal to roam into the fields 
And breathe the breath of Heaven, depress the mind 
Of legislation. Give us something more 
To talk about than these ; let us become 
More tolerant, more wise and loftier-soul'd, 
That in the steady tramp and march of Time 
Our honest England may preserve her place 
In the great commonwealth of Christian realms, 
The oldest, best, and bravest of them all, 
And not to be outstripp'd in any race 



A MAN'S HEART. 175 

Of Wealth, or Power, or Art, or Enterprise, 
Or great Dominion, or true Liberty, 
By friend or foe. 'Fore Heaven, I often think, 
I'll try, myself ! ' 

' And why not ? ' said his son, 
' Thou'rt under fifty ; in thy manhood's prime. 
The Earl Fitz-Neville, wed the other day, 
Is somewhat older. Better thou than L 

' Nay ! ' said the father, ' I have form'd my life, 
I'm but a dreamer, and must live on dreams. 
I could not tolerate the long debate ; 
I could -not sit till three o'clock at morn, 
To hear a crass, dull, awkward Minister 
Wear out his subject, and my patience too. 
My youthful elasticity is gone ! 
No ! give me books and music, and fresh air. 
If the book tire, I'll lay it on the shelf, 
Or taste its beauties only. If the strain 
That once delighted me have lost its charm, 
I'll close the instrument and take a walk. 
And if all fail to cheer the weary time- 
Thanks to all-gracious and beneficent Heaven 
I can lie down upon my quiet bed 
And go to sleep. But thou, my son, art young, 
And hast no habits long and fully form'd ; 
Go thou to Parliament, and thou'lt succeed/ 

They saiFd again to westward, taking ship 
For Syra, Malta, Naples, and Leghorn 
To pass a month in Florence. Luckless thought ! 
They had not been in Florence but a day, 
When Arthur, strolling, as the tourist will, 
Into the Duomo, met'twas face to face, 
And not to be avoided, or denied 
The Earl Fitz-Neville, and a troop of friends ; 
And back a pace or two amid her maids 
Edith, the Countess. Through the solemn aisles, 
Startling the organist amid his fugues, 
There rang a cry of pain as glance met glance ! 
He saw the lovely face the dark deep eyes 
And darted from the presence, lest its power 
Should smite him into Folly, with Despair, 
And fled the place, unconscious of the cry 
Wrung from her heart by terror of his eyes. 

By the next evening he was far away, 
At uenoa ; thence omvard to Marseilles, 
And thence to Paris, with his bursting heart, 
And all its griefs reopen'd to the day. 

Paris the bright, the fair, the libertine, 
Youthful in beauty, old in wickedness ! 



176 A MAN'S HEART. 

Paris, the ancient home of generous men, 
And now the sink of jobbers, gamblers, knaves; 
Ruled by a master hand, whose iron grip 
Slew disobedience, but forgave all else 
Vice, meanness, crime, degeneracy, and sloth 
Detain'd them for awhile. The city swarm'd 
With swaggering captains and their stunted men, 
Each with his marshal's visionary staff 
Safe in his knapsack, and with head uplift 
Saucily in the path ; for had they not, 
"Within short space, strangled, against all law, 
A young Republic ? slain it in the streets, 
And dragg'd its bleeding body through the mire; 
And set an armed Empire in its place, 
Govern'd by beat of drum and bayonet thrust 
A vulgar, slavish, gross, and carnal thing, 
Without a soul ? unless the bees have souls ! 
These yield a blind obedience to their chief, 
And feed and swaddle it, and make it fat, 
And toil and moil, until th' appointed hour 
When in hot swoop they fall upon the drones, 
And kill the fluttering fathers of the State ; 
Or, may be, choose another Sovereign 
To gorge and pamper as they did the last 1 
So Arthur deem'd, when musing in the streets, 
That, in like manner, act these bees of France, 
Swarming from faubourgs at the tocsin's peal 
Ruthless and bloody while the fit is on, 
And patient drudges when the fit wears off. 

Here Arthur strove to study humankind, 
But made small progress ; how could he explain 
The tame endurance of a land like this? 
'Twas order? So is death. 'Twas peace? 'Twas rest? 
He had seen rest in Nubia ; and in graves ; 
And 'mid the crumbling fanes of Ephesus 
There was a rotten and unwholesome peace, 
But nobler peace than this, as Nature f s work 
And not the dull contrivance of a man. 

He went to theatres, and there he saw 
'Daughters of marble' vice upon the stage. 
He went to cafes ; there 'twas constant smoke ; 
And constant dominoes, and constant spies. 
He went to churches, but he saw no men 
Or only passing strangers like himself, 
Who came to look at pictures and stain'd glass, 
Or hear the organ, and the full-voiced priests 
Chanting Te Deums on a festal morn. 

The pastime tired at last, 'What's France to me?' 
He said and sigh'd, Let's seek that fresher land : 
Our own land, where a public soul remains 
To guide the public body ! Let us go 



A MAN'S HEART. 177 

For I am weary of the beat of drum 

The dust of troops the slavery and the slaves ; 

And long to rush into the open air 

Out of this fever to the land of Health ; 

To tread the sward of Freedom, and inhale 

The fresh, pure atmosphere that' freemen love.' 

CANTO IV. SORROW. 

THE Lord Fitz-Neville had one passionate love ; 

The love of hunting ; love that nurtures hope 

In the mild bosoms of presumptive heirs ; 

And most intensely when in life's decline 

The staid possessor of some good estate 

Thinks it befitting he should wed a girl. 

So Lord Fitz-Neville hunted ; had good sport ; 

Bought many horses with my lady's dower ; 

Went on the turf, and kept a racing stud ; 

And gave the county three new packs of hounds. 

But being vex'd one day, and thinking more 

Of his vexation and its secret cause 

Than of the horse he rode a quiet beast 

The creature stumbled, and my lord was thrown 

Over the hedge into a stony field, 

And lay insensible. They took him home, 

And plied the electric wire for speedy help, 

And brought physicians from the capital, 

Who came express, by horses and by steam, 

And issued bulletins from day to day, 

Sign'd by three magnates of the healing art, 

To tell how much or little hope there was. 

Three weeks he lay, nor knew the face of man, 
Nor any kindness that was offer 1 d him, 
Nor his wife's touch upon his fever'd brow, 
Nor any word of hope ; and then he died. 

Great was the sorrow, for my lord was good ; 
A model magistrate, an upright man, 
An English gentleman, wed but six months, 
And sent untimely to nis last account, 
In the ripe autumn of his vigorous days. 
Great was the sympathy ; and great, perchance, 
The wonder of the garrulous peasantry 
In hamlets, farms, and homesteads round about, 
Mouth'd by old gaffers at the alehouse porch, 
And chatterM o'er their tea by pitying wives 
And grandams skilful in such human lore ; 
If my lord's brother were indeed a Lord, 
And had an earldom and a fair estate 
To leave the eldest of his five tall sons ; 
Or, whether in the ripening growth of Time 
A new-born heir would crush their nascent hopes 
12 



78 A MAN'S HEART. 

And make Sir Thomas what he pined to be, 
The happy grandsire of a race of peers 1 

Time came and went ; and ere a year had pass'd 
The new Fitz-Nevilles, safe and well assured, 
Dwelt in the ancient seat ; and Edith doff d 
The formal weeds that blazon widowhood, 
And set a label on a woman's grief, 
And robed herself in sensible attire 
One of the common world through which she moved ; 
And great Sir Thomas, gathering strength anew 
From the approaching advent of the Whigs ; 
(The Tories having wreck' d the ship of state, 
Or may be, saved it. as the Whigs declared, 
By being beaten) ; look'd about and saw 
Another chance of honours lorn* desired, 
Intensely coveted, and well-nigh clutch'd. 
He was the county member, well secured : 
His eldest sou, at sore expense, had wreuch'd 
The obstinate borough from the Tory grasp, 
And both were voters, loyal, staunch, and true, 
Pairing for "Whigs whenever Whigs were right, 
Voting for Whigs whenever Whigs were wrong, 
The bright exemplars of all party men. 
And were not such high principles and votes 
Worth the small purchase of a barony ? 
He hoped, he dreaui'd, he thought, he knew they were. 
He felt the coronet upon his brow ; 
Unseen of others palpable to him 
A vision, bordering on reality. 

And Edith roam'd once more in Erlwood Park, 
And read her book, and fed her milk-white fawn, 
As if she still were Edith Arundel ; 
And two long years were but a morning dream, 
Fused into nothing by the dawn of day. 

Oh, she was beautiful beyond belief ! 
More beautiful than when a thoughtless girl 
She knew no sorrow and imagined none, 
Save in the melting pages of Romance ; 
More beautiful than when beneath the boughs 
She took the offering of a guileless heart, 
Herself as guileless then ; more beautiful 
By all the added loveliness of thought, 
And the deep sorrow hidden in her soul, 
Which had refined and chasten'd her since then ; 
She seem'd too fair for Earth, too sad for Heaven. 

And no one knew her anguish but herself ; 
For she had given her hand without her heart 
After great struggle after many tears 
Because she reckoned filial duty much ; 



A MAN'S HEART. 179 

Herself, as nothing. She had sold her peace 

For empty title, which she valued not ; 

And, like the Patriarch's son, had lain her down, 

Moaning and helpless, but obedient still. 

On the grim altar which her sire had built 

To offer up his human sacrifice 

To his false gods of Vanity and Pride. 

She told her lord the truth before she wed, 
And afterwards, with many a blinding tear. 
The easy Earl disliked all sentiment ; 
And he had taken her without her heart ; 
Her, and her money ; and been good and kind, 
And treated her with gentle courtesies, 
Until she own'd in silence and remorse, 
And secret confidence, if such it be, 
When Conscience is the only confidant^ 
That had he been her brother, or her sire, 
Or any other than her wedded lord, 
She could have weigh'd his kindness and respect, 
And balanced them with friendship and esteem. 
But he was dead ; and 'twas a sin no more 
To think of Arthur Westwood, so beloved, 
So distant, so estranged, so lost to her ; 
Far on the outer verge of the abyss 
Which she had dug beneath then* yearning feet ; 
Hereafter doom'd to walk on different patns ; 
No more to tread the same ah, never more ! 

The cottage of the Westwoods was for sale, 
With all its furniture, except the books. 
She bought it, through her agent, hi his name ; 
And her dull sire, who never dream'd of hearts, 
Or anything but money, rank, and power, 
Could never fathom why she wasted gold 
On such a purchase. Here she often went 
And sat upon the chairs where he had sat, 
And saw his name inscribed upon the wall, 
Entwined in hers, with true-love knots between. 
From the same window out of which he'd gazed 
Upon the lovely landscape spread below 
She look'd, and found a pleasure in the sight. 
And when the blackbird in the hawthorn grove 
Sang joyous, said she to herself, * That song 
Pleased him in other days, and pleases me. 7 
Amid the ivy clustering to the roof 
Darted the swallows ; he had watch'd their flight 
In melancholy noons, and so would she. 
To the green sward beneath the window-sill 
A frequent visitor, for charity, 
Came the bold robin ; and she gave the dole 
To the blithe beggar with the glittering eye, 
Because he gave it, steward of his alms. 



180 A MAN'S HEART. 

She trimm'd the rose-trees in the garden- walk, 
Because he trimm'd them in the happy days 
When he believed in her, and in himself. 
She nurtured sorrow by a thousand arts, 
And fed it with a thousand sympathies, 
And was repaid, because she thought of him. 

Time wore, and she had suitors at her feet. 
The Curate fresh from Oxford, with white hands, 
White face, white brow, white neckcloth and white teeth, 
But with a batch of hazy principles, 
Scarlet as Rome ; whose talk was evermore 
Of crosses, candlesticks, and papal gear ; 
Laid formal siege and battery to her heart. 
He thundered at her gates with piety, 
Or strove to sap the fortress with soft words, 
And would not be denied or robb'd of hope j 
For he was rich in bountiful conceit, 
And thought no woman could resist a tongue 
So oily, glib, and specious as his own. 

And a smooth cousin of the Earl deceased, 
A captain in the Guards, with whiskers huge, 
Who could not speak without a burst of slang, 
And smoked from morn's first dawn till evening's close, 
And seem'd to have no aim or end of life 
But to consume tobacco thought one day. 
Between two whiffs while shaving that he'd make 
Great sacrifice, and give himself away. 
That Edith would accept him, could he doubt ? 
But she refused him, and he auswer'd ' Haw ! ' 
And smoked no longer for a round half-hour. 
And then recovering consciousness and peace, 
He smoked again as briskly as before, 
And thought, betwixt two other long-drawn whiffs, 
What an escape he'd had from slavery 
To apron-strings ; and then said * Haw !' again, 
Half vex'd, half satisfied, and sore perplex'd ; 
But still in confidence to liis sweet self. 

And there were other suitors ; human flies, 
That ever drone and buzz at honey-pots, 
With busy whig lank legs and suckers dry 
For want of golden sweets that long to light 
Upon the paths of widows richly dower'd, 
And settle there ; insatiate as wasps 
That dig their feelers into luscious pears, 
Or burrow into peach and apricot. 
But she pass'd through them, as the sunny beam 
On which the midges dance, strikes through the crowd 
)f little, nimble, pestilential things 
That revel in its light, and knew them not. 



A MAN'S HEART. 

And there came news to Arthur far away, 
In the great whirl and Maelstiom of the town, 
Of all that Edith suffer'd for his sake, 
The life she led, the offers she refused, 
And all the gradual blighting of her days. 

But he was smitten with a fearful plague. 
The love he thought she scorn'd, had grown to hate; 
The hate as bitter as the love was true. 
And in the struggle he essa/d to drown 
The fierce remembrance both of hate and love. 
He lived a life of lightning not of light- 
Rapid and brilliant, but most deadly sad : 
A constant battle with one haunting thought 
That stared him in the face, and all night long 
Lay watchful on the pillow where he moan'd, 
Or through his curtains, with an angel's face, 
Peered in the lengthening vigils of the night, 
Stabbing him through the eyes, into the brain, 
With thoughts empoison'd. 

Whither could he fly ? 

Where was his Lethe? Travel was too slow, 
And politics too dull, and art too tame, 
And battle which he thought of too unjust 
To give him the sublime forgetfulness 
Of self and personal sorrow that he craved. 

! Oh, whither, whither should he turn for peace 

In what sweet fountain should he bathe his heart, 

To clear it from that black and burning drop 

Of passionate gall? His friend, and father's friend, 

The Vicar, came from Erlwood's quiet groves 

To give him comfort ; but he came in vain. 

A kindly man, a wise philosopher. 

A pastor most benign, his threefold power 

Fell idly on that proud and smitten heart, 

Which m the waywardness of young desire 

Had look'd for heavenly rapture on the earth, 

And could not, for its wounds, look up to Heaven. 

He scorn'd philosophy, that could not cure 

An evil deep as his. He did not scorn 

Religion and its teachings ; but his soul, 

Leaning on earth as youthful souls will lean, 

Look'd downwards, and not up, and could not see 

The starlight peering through the nether gloom. 

His love had been too human and too fond, 

And was too closely riveted with hate, 

Or what he deem'd was hate though 'twas but love 

Stung into frenzy to be link'd with Heaven. 

And so he listened to the soothing hopes 

The pious preacher pour'd into his mind, 

And was not soothed : and so, from, day to day 

Feeding fierce thoughts in fruitful solitude. 



182 A MAN'S HEART. 

He grew enamoured of his own Despair, 
And pla/d with it, and nursed it, like a toy. 

And Arthur's father, pitying much his son, 
Ceased to console. ' Time's homoeopathy 
Will bring him solace : lightnings cannot flash 
On the dark skies for ever. Rains must fall 
When clouds are heavy, but the clouds must pass ; 
And a new love, more mighty than the first, 
Bursting upon him like the blooms of spring, 
Shall fill his being with a new delight 
That shall efface remembrance of old days. 
Let him alone. The heart that has no grief 
Is but a dull and barren stone at best 
A quiet, happy, and unfeeling stone ; 
And Sorrow ripens Life to glorious deeds 
That might have languish'd in the nothingness 
Of too much ease. The soil where grief is grown 
Is fruitful soil for joy ; and have not I 
Straggled with sorrow for philosophy, 
And gain'd the laurel branch and victor's crown ? 
And so shall he : I see it in his eyes, 
And trace it in the words of his despair/ 

Thus Westwood argued with his anxious heart, 
And gathered for himself the wayside flowers 
Of comfort he could feel, but not bestow : 
Then hied him to his music with new zeal, 
To work upon a cherish'd theory, 
And draw the soul of heavenly harmony 
From the entranced body dumb not dead, 
Of ancient music, such as Plato heard ; 
Or that which charm'd divine Pythagoras, 
Lost to the moderns ; but of which, perchance, 
He in his happiest hour had found the key. 

There came one day a missive to his club 
From Thomas Aruudel, the eldest son 
Of great Sir Thomas, begging him to grant 
Five minutes' interview on urgent need. 

The young man came ; and after little space, 
Sufficient for the simple tale he told 
Both drove together fast as steeds could run 
To high Tyburnia, where Sir Thomas kept 
State like an earl ; oh, miserable man, 
That could not be an earl, though richer far 
Than any brace of earls in all the land ! 
And there they saw, in mild autumnal grace, 
Her white hair parted on her open brow, 
Good Mistress Anmdel, the knight's best friend, 
Sister and careful matron of his home. 

She, sadly smiling, without waste of words, 
Open'd her heart ; r ls it not sad/ she said, 



A MAN'S HEART. 

' That a young life most innocent and pure, 

Should waste, and be consumed, and fade away, 

When one kind word misftt lift it into hope, 

And hope -to healing? Edith Arundel 

She loves the old name better than the new 

Dies without malady, save that which lurks 

Insidious in the secret of her heart ! 

She dies for Love. There was a time, my friend, 

When I, and you, perchance, with thoughtless smile 

Might have denied the power of Love to kill, 

Or talk'd incredulous of broken hearts : 

But we are wiser now ; or else, should be. 

Edith, the lovely child, so good, so true, 

The docile victim of her father's pride, 

Dies for the love of Arthur. Tell him so. 

Tell him, moreover, that she never loved, 

With the remotest shadow of a thought, 

Other than him : and that, in few short weeks, 

That pure, unsullied life will bloom in Heaven 

Unless he can retain it on the earth 

By one kind word or look. She knows not this ; 

And she might die of shame were she to learn 

That I became so forward in her cause, 

And bared her weakness to the gaze of one 

Who might, in haughtiness of poor revenge, 

Exult to see it and respond with scorn. 

Tell him the truth ; and let his heart decide 

On its own action : mine hath done its part, 

And yours will aid it, or I cannot read 

The soul that glistens in your sorrowing eyes/ 

{ If Arthur be like me,' the father said, 
Taking the gentle speaker by both hands, 
1 This news will fill him with a grievous joy; 
And if her life depend upon his smile, 
Death shall repent, and drop his pitying hand, 
And spare the blossoming tree. But who can tell 
How wild and wicked is a young man's heart ? 
And this boy's heart hath hot Italian blood 
That chafes at Reason when it braves his will. 

But he is generous, and he loved this girl 
With all the fervour of his mother's clime, 
And all the truth of honourable souls. 
And if that love remain ay, if one spark 
Of that great fire be smouldering in him still. 
It may revive. I'll find him ere an hour, 
And learn if there be healing in his words. 
Meantime, dear lady, comfort and console 
Ihe perishing flower. Breathe hope into her mind 
* . r Hope is life. Deceive her, if thou wilt, 
With hopes unfounded anything for life. 
And trust to me, and God's great charity, 



184 A MAN'S HEART. 

And Love, the master Spirit of the world, 
That Hope and Love shall purify themselves, 
And dwell together. Sister ! fare thee well ! ' 



CANTO V. HOPE. 

OPEN ! wide open to the setting sun 

That pour'd its slant beams on the chequered floor 

Through tangled fretwork of the clambering vine ; 

Open wide open to the evening breeze, 

That b^y balm-laden from the bounteous West, 

Stood Edith's lattice. There she loved to sit 

To watch the darkness creeping on the Day, 

And dream sad homilies of Life and Love 

Fading, or faded, like the summer mom 

That shone so beautiful and pass'd so soon. 

On her white garments, and her pale white hands, 
The rose-red lustre of the evening fell, 
As on the marble statue of a saint 
Falls crimson splendour through cathedral aisles, 
And clad her with a glory caught from Heaven. 
Beside her sat a maiden fair as she, 
Yet not so lovely ; not a shadow of cloud 
Dwelt on the May-day of that happy face, 
Which had been fairer had a grief oeen there, 
And left its delicate tracery in her eyes, 
Or its faint echo on her silvery tongue. 

Sing to me, Rose my Rose-bud/ Edith said 
* Sweet singers find no labour in their song, 
But sing for pure delight, as lark or thrush ; 
And thou art like them in luxurious ease 
Of opulent melody, that from thy throat 
Pours, as from laden clouds the summer rain. 
Thy song nor tires thyself nor listeners : 
Sing then, to please me, any English song 
That has a heart in it of joy of grief. 
There's something in thy voice that floats my soul 
Nautilus-like upon a sunny sea, 
The waves beneath me the blue skies above ! 
Sing to me, Rose, and waft me from myself, 
And let me travel over boundless deeps 
To golden slopes and bowery isles of Song/ 

Rose Trevor, friend and comrade of her youth, 
The dear companion of her childish days, 
Who left the calm seclusion of her home 
To watch and tend her in sore malady, 
Bom of the mind, the worst that flesh can feel, 
Press'd her pale hands in hers, and smiling sang. 



A MAN'S HEART. 



185 



SONG. 



How many thoughts I give thee ! 

Come hither on the grass, 
And if thou'lt count unfailing 

The green blades as we pass : 
Or the leaves that sigh and tremble 

To the sweet wind of the west, 
Or the ripples of the river, 

Or the sunbeams on its breast, 
I'll count the thoughts I give thee, 

My beautiful, my best ! 

How many joys I owe thee ! 

Come sit where seas run high, 
And count the heaving billows 

That break on the shore and die 
Or the grains of sand they fondle, 

When the storms are overblown, 



Or the pearls in the deep sea caverns, 
Or the stars in the milky zone, 

And I'll count the joys I owe thee, 
My beautiful, my own ! 

And how much love I proffer ! 

Come scoop the ocean dry, 
Or weigh in thy tiny balance 

The star-ships of the sky ; 
Or twine around thy fingers 

The sunlight streaming wide, 
Or fold it in thy bosom, 

While the world is dark beside ; 
And I'll tell how much I love thee, 

My beautiful, my bride ! 



I thought/ said Edith, when the song had ceased, 
1 1 heard a sigh, and then a stir of leaves, 
As if some stranger in the garden walk 
Had lurk'd to listen ; prithee, look and see ! ' 

The fair face glimmerM through the clustering vine, 
Like sunlight streaming through the woods of June, 
And the soft voice made answer, ' Fancied sigh, 
And fancied stranger, or perchance a bird 
Amid the ivy at the cottage door.' 

' Forgive the fancy then, my Rose, my love ; 
And sing again, but sing to me no more 
Such lilt of joy, to waken in my soul 
The sad remembrance of departed time, 
Link'd with the name of him whose thought it spoke, 
When from his heart he pour'd it upon mine. 
Gay music makes me sad, so, prithee, Rose, 
Sing me a doleful, melancholy song, 
Such as Ophelia, crazed and strewing flowers, 
Sings in the play. If pleasure make me weep, 
Sorrow, perchance, may soothe me into smiles.' 

Again the singer, with her mellow voice, 
Ripe, round, and full, and careful of the words, 
As every singer, worthy of the name, 
Should strive to be sang as her friend desired. 



186 



A MAN'S HEART. 



SONG. 



How could I tell that death was there? 
I shot mine arrow in the air, 
And knew not of the bonnie bird 
Singing aloft, unseen, unheard, 

Oh, idle aim ! 

Oh, sorrow and shame ! 
arrow, that did my heart the wrong ! 
It slew the bird, it hush'd the song ! 



How could I tell its fatal power ? 
I breathed a word in Beauty's Bower, 
And knew not, most unhappy boy, 
What charm was in it to destroy ; 

Oh, idle breath ! 

Oh, shaft of death ! 
Oh, fatal word which I deplore, 
It slew my peace for evermore ! 



' It is not fancy, or my senses fail/ 
Said Edith, starting as the song expired 
In lingering whispers on the placid air ; 
c Hark to the footfall, and the crash of boughs ! ' 

Rose Trevor look'd again, and thought she saw, 
A rapid shadow flash across the lawn ; 
But nid the truth, as nothing in itself, 
Or only potent to disturb a brain, 
Made sensitive by sorrow ; and sat down, 
The two pale hands in hers, and calmly said, 
' Edith ! 'twas but a fancy as before 
There are no listeners but thy heart, dear love : 
And if there were, the song that pleases thee 
Might well attract thy grooms. I'll sing no more. 
For, lo ! the sun has sunk into the west 
And the night air grows chilly/ Then she rose 
And shut the lattice ; and with kiss as pure 
As infant to an infant, went her way 
To her own chamber with a fond ' good night/ 
And Edith thank'd her with beseeching eyes, 
And sought the couch where wakeful dreams were guests, 
And sleep, the comforter, was coy to come. 

That night was morning dawn of happiness 
To one unhappy. All night long he stray'd, 
Sleepless, around the outer avenues, 
And watch'd the light, to him a cynosure, 
That glimmerM from her chamber through the dark, 
And said within himself, ' When comes the day 
I will confess the evil I have thought, 
And sue for pardon ; I'll declare my love, 
The love I strove to wrench from out my heart, 
The love immortal that refused to die, 
Though I decreed it daily to the death/ 

But when the morning came his spirit fail'd, 
And idly dallying with his new-born hopes 
The later blossoms of a blighted life 



A MAN'S HEART. 187 

Deferr'd fruition, lest a second blight 
Should nip them, also, ere the harvest-time. 

Night after night he wander'd silently 
Through the old haunts to happy childhood dear 
Of his own cottage, doubly his, now hers, 
And saw the lonely taper in her room, 
A love-star, whose love-secret no one knew 
Except himself ; and watch'd it until morn 
With fairer radiance dispossess'd its beam, 
And sent him back again to common life, 
Nerved for all struggles, strong again in hope, 
With heart unburden'd, and with head erect, 
And eyes that took a pleasure in the light 
And droop'd no longer in the dark forlorn 

And there came news to Edith in her bower 
Of him that roam'd without ; of Arthur's self 
Love-guided to her solitary home, 
Yet lacking heart to look upon her face, 
And words to breathe, what he desired to speak, 
And she to hear. Oh, power of blessed Hope ! 
Oh, sovran balsam ! Best medicament ! 
Sweet as the breath of Spring to opening flowers, 
Warm as the sunshine to the bursting buds, 
And potent as the moon on laggard tides ! 
It brought new lustre to her eloquent eyes, 
And to her cheeks the crimson they had lost, 
And to her lips the smile they'd ceased to wear 
Since the dark day when at her sire's command 
She gave to ' duty ; what was love's alone, 
And laid her heart upon a funeral pyre 
With filial piety and hidden tears. 

But Joy and Sorrow are like Day and Night, 
Twin-born of Time, who walk together still, . 
Inseparable, the substance and the shade ; 
For if one smiles and loads the heart with gifts, 
The other frowns and takes the gifts away. 
One scatters glory, wealth, dominion, power, 
The other, if she leave the toys intact, 
Will take away a child, or blessed health, 
Or heavenly reason, dearest boon of all. 
Oh, traitors both, and not to be believed ! 
Cheats that belie the promises they make, 
And balance life with death ; yet friendly still, 
For if the heart were drunk with constant joy 
Madness might crown himself anointed King, 
And dispossess the old inheritor ; 
And Sorrow, were she Queen too absolute. 
Might lose her throne to one more fierce tnan she, 
And yield her broken sceptre to Despair. 
Great are the balances of Day and Night, 
Of Summer and of Winter Up and Down ; 



188 A MAN'S HEART. 

t 

Great are the balances of Joy and Giief . 
Almighty Power decreed their twofold life ; 
Almighty Love maintains their unison. 

And so, when Edith, drinking life anew 
From Hope's pure atmosphere that robed the world, 
Saw through its golden haze the star of love 
That seem d to have set and vanish'd from the sky, 
But now rose clear again, and shot afar 
Radiance divine ; she thought that joy once more 
Might dwell beside her as in olden days : 
But dream'd not of the spectral balances 
That equalize the fortunes of mankind, 
Nor saw that Sorrow in a new disguise 
Would steal invidious on her upward path 
And break her flowers and dull her brightening day. 

In the upper skies of Trade, hoarse thunders roll'd. 
The demigods of Commerce shook their beards 
And spake their sore amaze, that one of them, 
The Lucifer, amid their sinless choir, 
Should fall from Credit, that imperial seat, 
And carry with him in his downward flight 
To the deep Hades and the hopeless dark 
Of Bankruptcy and Rum, such a rout 
Of minor potentates and satellites 
Who shared his glory once, and now his shame. 
Through Bank, Exchange, and Bourse, the rumour sped 
And gathered strength and clearness as it grew, 
That the great House, the overshadowing House. 
The House of Arundel reuown'd and high, 
And never doubted for a hundred years, 
Shook at its very basement. Envious men, 
O'erladen with the news, relieved their souls 
By noising it abroad. Alas, too true ! 
It was not built upon the solid rock 
Of prudent Trade, but on the shifting sands, 
The treacherous quagmires, and the rotten bog? 
Of desperate Speculation, and must fall 
With crash to startle and confound the world. 

Even as they spake, the gaping multitude 
Became aware that ruin was at hand. 
High in the air rose clouds of flying dust, 
Low through the ground a rumbling noise was heard, 
As of convulsion in the nether depths ; 
And, lo ! the fabric totterU shiver'd broke 
And lay as prostrate as Lisboa's towers 
When earthquake smote them shapeless, worthless, nought: 
And men grew pale, and whisper'd each to each, 
Who is secure? if House like this can fall, 
Whom shall we trust ? The world is old and sick, 
And Trade s a rottenness, and Truth a sham.' 



A MAN'S HEART. 189 

Of all that mighty wealth there scarce remam'd 
Pittance enough to pay the labourers 
Who scraped the ruin'd heap for waifs and strays. 
Of all that power, whose name was like the blast 
Of martial trump and clarion in the strife, 
To stir the hearts of enterprising men, 
Nothing was left ; its very shadow pass'd, 
And name and fame were idle as a breath 
Spoke in a desert centuries ago ; 
Or, ere a month had pass'd, became a scoff 
Of portly men whose money was their god, 
Whose own soap-bubbles glitter'd to the sun, 
Ready to burst, but had not yet collapsed, 
And vanish'd into nothingness, like this. 

And * great Sir Thomas 'mockery of words ! 
To call him great whose greatness Avas as dead 
As last year's blossoms, or its winter wind 
Endeavour'd with strong heart and stronger will 
To show new greatness in adversity ; 
To lift his head and look upon the world 
With clear eye unabash'd, and say still proud 
1 Make me a beggar do your best, or worst 
Take from me all things money, houses, lands, 
Power, station, splendour everything you will ! 
I can take nothing with me to the tomb, 
Nor leave to any one who follows me 
Aught but my honour. If you leave me that. 
I will go down into the grave in peace, 
Nor wish to live, a pauper in the land, 
A crawling, pitiful, and abject thing 
A worse than Lazarus, who ne'er was rich, 
And never fell from such a height as mine.' 

. But the strong effort cost him more than life. 
The inner conflict was too fierce to bear. 
The wounded vanity, the trampled pride, 
The outraged dignity, the sense of shame, 
The keen regret for 'fair dominion lost 
Over men's homage, and their flattering tongues, 
The love of money that survived the wreck 
Of money's self, and pomp that money brings 
All warr'd together, in a worldly mind 
That had no trust except in worldly things, 
And no belief in goodness, man's or God's ; 
Till the fine tendrils of the brain were snapp'd, 
And the mind's music and true harmony 
Jarr'd into hopeless discord, or was dumb. 
And great Sir Thomas, little to the world, 
Was great as ever in his own conceit, 
And fondly clutch'd imaginary gold, 
And counted it, and hugg'd it to his heart ; 
Harangued imaginary Parliaments, 



190 A MAN'S HEART. 

And put upon his brow ideal crowns, 

And sent to sea imaginary ships 

Freighted with dreamy ventures, huge enough, 

If dreams were facts, to build his house anew, 

With tenfold strength to overawe mankind. 

And Arthur, much amazed, reproach'd himself 
For joy that came unbidden, when he heard 
The great calamity. ' Oh, wayward heart, 
Thou treacherous, bitter, black, and guilty thing ! 
Why art thou glad that grief like this hath come 
On her and on her father ? Why shouldst thou 
Take pleasure in disaster like to this ? 
And yet thou'rt glad ; and I am glad, my heart 
Not for affliction would it had not come ! 
Not for the sorrow ; for if I could heal, 
Or lessen, or remove it, blest were I. 
But all thy motives are mine own, dear heart, 
And I can see thy secrets clear as noon ; 
Thou canst not cheat me ; canst not hide one spring 
Of all that moves thee ; and thy joys, like mine, 
Flow from a fountain of perennial love 
That never fail'd, although it seein'd to fail. 
For are we not made free ? And can we not, 
Without reproach or slander of the world 
Without suspicion that vile dross and gold- 
Inspire our homage, haste to Edith's bower, 
And lay our fortune, life, and love, and hope, 
As offerings at her feet 1 We'll go, my heart ! 
For she is sick, and needs a comforter ; 
Weak, and requires support ; distress'd and sad, 
While I have words of solace on my lips, 
Panting for utterance ; poor, while I am rich 
Ay, doubly, trebly rich ! Oh, happy day, 
When I can woo her for herself alone ! 
And prove to her, as to my nobler self, 
That dearer in her poverty and grief 
Is Edith Arundel to him she scorn' d. 
Than Edith Arundel in blaze of wealth, 
And bloom of beauty. Heart ! thine hour has come/ 



CANTO VI. HAPPINESS. 

LINGER ! oh, linger ! ye delicious hours ! 

The stormful March the tearful April's gone 

And life's fresh May, with all its buds and blooms, 

Its balmy odours, and ambrosial skies. 

Smiles on two loving hearts, dissever' a long. 

Linger, oh, linger ! ye delicious days, 
That hopes and joys may blossom like the flowers, 
That happy thoughts may sparkle like the stars, 



A MAN'S HEART. 191 

And peace of mind, like the o'erarching sky, 
Shine forth unclouded, dropping heavenly clews ! 

Linger, oh, linger ! Love is in its noon ; 
Grief is forgotten ; pain hath pass'd away ; 
And Memory, if her mournful voice be heard, 
Whispers in music ; if her shadow fall, 
J Tis but to show how glorious is the light. 

Linger, oh, linger ! Yestermom were wed 
Arthur and Edith. Be it thine, Time, 
To pay them recompense for sorrow past. 
Time such as thou is essence of all Time, 
And one fair day may carry in its breast 
The joy of centuries. They suffered long ; 
Let them be happy ! And if grief must come 
Once more upon them, as it comes to all, 
Fill up the interval with pure delights ; 
Make every minute fruitful ; shower them down 
Blessings and pleasures in each tick o' the clock 
And balance of thy ceaseless pendulum, 
Dispensing grief and joy to all who live. 
Thou canst not stay thy course ; but Love and Truth 
Can make thy minutes bountiful as years. 
And turn the years to ages. Love is wea ; 
And Truth was at the bridal in both hearts, 
And smiles from mutual eyes and mingling lips. 

And Arthur's sire is in his ancient home, 
New fitted for his ease by Edith's care ; 
Amid his books, his music, and his plants, 
As mildly happy as in former days ; 
And builds new melodies, and studies hard 

To ravish from the undivulging past v 

The buried secret of the songs of Greece, 
That still escapes him, and still seems to come. 

Quietly flows the streamlet of his life ; 
And, having much of Love and little Hate, 
He takes to hating something for a change ; 
And, with his friend, the Vicar, spends his nights 
In loading epithets of harmless scorn 
On false pretences, and on foolish books ; 
And on tobacco, and on smoking boys; 
And working up a theory, fine-spun, 
Of woes nicotian looming o'er the world; 
Deterioration of the human race, 
Stunting of stature, drying up of brain, 
Shrivelling of beauty, and decrease of years 
All from Tobacco, and its senseless use. 

And then the Vicar takes the other side 
In a mock combat ; wondering much to learn 
How Homer could have lived without cigars, 
Or Socrates and JSsop without pipes 



A 'MAN'S HEART. 

And how the ancients managed to exist 
Quidless and snuffless, tealess, coffeeless, 
Without the journal and the printed book. 
And ever and anon they change the theme 
To higher questions of philology, 
Philosophy, and politics, and war : 
Or how to raise the funds to build a school, 
Or add a trifle to the teacher's dole ; 
Or read the letter in the morn received 
From happy Arthur and his happier bride, 
Sailing in Scotland through the Hebrides. 

When lovers look upon the selfsame flower, 
And feel it beautiful ; upon the sky, 
Glowing with gold and purple in the West, 
Or on the amber splendours of the morn 
Lighting the landscape, or on starry nights 
Behold, awe-struck, the living firmament 
Ablaze with worlds reproachful of our pride, 
And feel a pleasure words are poor to speak ; 
How rapturous is the touch of clasping nands, 
And what occult transcendent sympathies 
Glow in the heart, and elevate the mind, .; 
And link to God, to Nature, and to Man, 
The spirits twain made one by happy Love ! 

Such joy is Edith's, sailing in the West ; 
Such ioy is Arthur's, pensive at her side; 
For all the land, magnificently rude, 
With isle, and mountain, and far-stretching sea, 
And musical with roar of waterfalls, 

: And murmur of the waves upon the beach, 
Appeals where'er they go, where'er they look, 
To sympathies benign. Away ! away 
Through changeful scenes of ever new delight ! 
On either side the hoary mountain slopes, 
Rise like the Titan fathers of the clime, 
Lovely in sunshine beautiful in shade ; 
Or in their mantles of majestic mist, 
Lash'd by the storms that bellow through the glens. 
Sad as discrowned kings and potentates 
When Revolution surges in the streets, 
And angry voices roar for Liberty. 

' Away ! away ! amid the clustering isles, 
Through lonely Mulla's melancholy Sound, 

, Where every rock, and crag, and jutting point 
Hath its own legend and sad history 
Of Love or Hate, Ambition or Revenge. 

At every turn, what memories awake ! 
Heroic phantoms shape themselves in cloud 
Ihe spectral forms of chieftains, bards, and kings 
And mighty patriots of the olden time. 
And wizard voices murmur on the shore, 



A MAN'S HEART. 193 

Heard of the Fancy silent to the ear, 

' On these blue waves sail'd Fingal and his host, 

Thronging to battle with uplifted spears : 

On these gray rocks were Haco's warrior-ships 

Batter'd to fragments : in these straths and glens 

The kilted Gael, with heather in their caps, 

Raised the loud slogan and ferocious yell, 

As chief met chief in sanguinary feud. 

And here, great Wallace, freedom's bravest sou, 

Made Scotland famous in the ennobling war 

Of Right against the Wrong. Here, deep conceal'd 

In wild sea caves, or gullies of the rock, 

Like David, followed by revengeful Saul, 

A desperate and a broken man he lay, 

But never lost his confidence in God, 

Or love for Scotland. Here, in moorlands bleak. 

The dauntless souls, oppressed for Conscience' sake, 

Who held aloft the Bible and the Sword, 

And fought with both, came forth on Sabbath-days, t 

'Mid storm and rain, bareheaded to the sky, 

And sang their psalms, with daggers at then: thighs ; 

Arm'd to resist, as if their prayers to God 

Were treason to mankind. And here, array'd 

By secret summons at the storm of drum 

And burst of pibrochs wailing on the wind, 

Issued Lochiel, and all the gallant hearts, 

Who, for a name which grief had rendered great, 

And vast calamity had purified 

From taint of ancient Wrong, imperill'd Life 

Fame, Fortune, Honour all that men desire 

To mend a broken sceptre, pass'd away 

From hands unfit to wield it.' 

On, still on, 

Amid such memories, sail'd these loving two 
Through Caledonian isles magnificent, 
And fed their eyes on fair sublimities 
And mingling grandeurs of the Earth and Sea. 
Onwards ! still on ! To Staffa's echoing cave, 
Cathedral of the Ocean whose high fane 
Resounds with voices of the waves and winds, 
Chanting for ever holy harmonies, 
Such as they chanted in Columba's ears 
When first he preach'd in near lona's isle 
The Gospel of the poor, the sufferer's hope 
The great new law of Charity and Love 
A new law still, and little understood 
By warring sects that hate their fellow-man. 
And there they lingered last of all the crowd, 
And in that solemn Temple of the Lord, 
That vaulted Dome, with porphyry pillars huge, 
Not made by human hands, they stood aloof, 
Alone and unperceived. With one accord,- 
They join'd their hands in token of their truth, 
13 



194 A MAN'S HEART. 

They join'd their lips in token of their love, 
And said, without a word, in silent thought 
Flashing from eyes more eloquent than tongues, 
' Here we renew the promise of the Past, 
And in the presence of the Invisible, 
In His own Temple, dedicate our lives 
To Him and to each other/ 

Onward still ! 

Through Morven and Lochaber, mournful lands, 
Once the abode of brave, true-hearted men, 
But wildernesses now for sheep and deer, 
The appanage of Luxury ; scarcely trod 
Save by the shepherd's foot, or, rarer still, 
By Croesus with his gun, or legal drudge, 
Set free from briefs and quirks, and Chancery fogs, 
From August till November. On ! still on ! 
To Ballahulish and its lulls austere, 
And wild Glencoe, the saddest spot of ground 
On British soil ; where every mountain top 
Re-echoes * Murder' when the thunder roars ; 
And the clear Cona, with reproachful voice, 
Croons like a beldam that has known o'ermuch, 
And hints of crimes too fearful to be told. 

Where shall they turn ? To shady Aviemore 
And green Craigellachie, embowered on Spey ? 
Or to the savage haunts and purple wilds, 
Where great Ben Nevis wraps his waist in cloud, 
And with his bare bald head looks up to Heaven, 
Unmindful of the crooked ways of men ? 
They know not well ; but Chance determines them. 
But is it Chance or Fate ? Whiche'er it be, 
They take its guidance, and resolve to rest 
A month at Bannavie : a little space. 
Whence daily issuing they may tnreaa the glens, 
Or row upon the lake or scale the heights 
Up to the very crown and diadem 
Of royal Nevis. 

Pleasant were the morns 
In those rude solitudes ; pleasant the noons 
When the light breeze on Linnhe's azure breast 
Invited them to sail ; pleasant the eves, 
With their long twilights, lingering silvery-gray 
To overtake and mingle with the Night, 
That scarce was dark enough to know herself 
Co-regent of the sky, but for an hour 
Between two twilights : pleasant to them both 
Were calm and storm, the sunshine and the shade ; 
For in then- hearts were pleasantness and peace, 
Which thence o'erflow'd and sanctified the world. 
Iney found not Happiness, and sought it not, 
But took it with them wheresoe'er they went : 
As all must do or know it nevermore ! 



A MAN'S HEART. 195 

So much they loved so deeply they enjoyM 
So warmly praised their northern solitude, 
In frequent letters to the tamer south 
Edith to Rose, the playmate of her youth, 
And Arthur to his sire, his heart's true friend 
That ere the June had ripen'd to July, 
And days had shorten'd, came three visitors, 
Westwood, and Trevor, with his daughter Rose, 
To tread the grassy slopes, to track the streams, 
To breathe the buxom air of seaward glens ; 
And turn a virgin page of Life's new book 
Ready for memory in a future Time. 



CANTO VII. LOVE ETERNAL. 

On, mountain echoes ! slumbering in the clefts ! 

Never did blither company than this 

Awake your magic voices with their own, 

And fill with gladness the responsive air. 

The morn is young ; the flowers, the grass, the trees, 

And gossamer webs that stretch from branch to branch ' 

Of the red heather or the golden gorse, 

Are hung with jewels of the nightly clew. 

Which Day, new-risen upon the misty plain, 

But old upon the hills, has lighted up. 

As if each droplet were a rolling world 

Set in the distant heavens to catch its beam. 

A careless and a joyous company, 
With ponies, guides, and all appliances 
To pass the summer day upon the Ben, 
They start, these friendly five, from Bannavie, 
Clad for the hills, and eager to ascend 
To those serene and barren altitudes 
Where Nevis looks o'er Scotland and the Isles, 
And counts in summer eves his subject Mils. 

Oh, pleasant morn ! and what shall be the night? 
The darkest clouds upon the hopeful sky 
Are white as feathers of the seagull's wing, 
And take no light or promise from the day, 
But give it both. Yet, what shall be the night ? 
They know not think not ask not and 'tis well. 

' Nine by the sun, and half-way up the Ben ! 
Let toil, and hunger, and fresh exercise 
Receive their due reward. Here let us rest :' 
Quoth Westwood to the guides. ' This oozing spring 
Born in the mountain's breast shall yield us drink, 
Dash'd with the mountain dew that owes no tax 
To our liege lady on the banks of Thames, 
Display the breakfast ! ' 



196 



A MAN'S HEART. 



On the broad bare stone 
The guides disburthen'd them of thrifty store 
Of oaten cakes, as sweet as scent of briar, 
Of butter, fresh as mead ere mowers come, 
Of eggs, no older than the summer day. 
And appetite, made keen by upland air, 
Does honour to the simple festival. 

Rose Trevor, merry as the lowland lark, 
Left far adown and lilting in the glens, 
Eases her sense of superabundant joy 
By music's voice, as natural to her 
As light to suns, or scent to mountain thyme ; 
And sings till honest Donald and his boys, 
Their guides upon the Ben, in glad amaze 
Declare to one another as they tend 
The ponies browsing near, that never yet 
Was mortal voice so exquisite as this. 

Up ! up again ! There's work that must be done. 
The knees of Nevis may be clad in flowers 
His waist may wear a girdle of the pine, 
His shoulders may be robed in heath and fern 
But his broad neck and high majestic head 
Are steep and bare and he who'd climb, must toil. 

Noon on the mountain ! glowing, glorious noon ! 
And they have reach'd the very topmost top 
Of Britain's isle ; the crown above all crowns 
Of royal Bens ! Oh, wild sublimities ! 
None can imagine you but those who've seen ; 
And none can understand man's littleness 
Who has not gazed from such dread altitudes 
Upon the world a thousand fathoms down 
O'er precipice of perpendicular rock, 
Which but to look at makes the brain to reel, 
And fills it with insane desire for wings 
To imitate the eagle far below, 
And free itself of earth ! And here they stand, 
Awe-stricken and delighted ; great, yet small ; 
Jjreat that their souls may dare aspire to God, 
lo whom the mountains and the universe 
Are but as dust on the Eternal Shore ; 
11 in the presence of those ancient hills 
lch * stood the same > ancl evermore the same, 
When Abraham fed his flocks on Shinar's plain, 
And Job beheld Arcturas and his sous ; 
-The same the same -and evermore the same 
Unweeting of the whirl and spin of Time. 
And heedless of the fall of states and kings 
And mighty monarchies, that dared to blow 
Through slavish trumpets the blaspheming boast - 
ine seasons pass but we endure for aye !' 



A MAX'S HEART. 197 

Where are they now ? Let Rome and Carthage say, 
And Babylon answer, ' Dead, and pass'd away ! ' 

Upon that topmost height within the shade 
Of the gray Cairn that shields them from the sun, 
Again the board is spread with frugal fare ; 
A banquet earn'd, and seasoii'd with delight 
Of genial converse and the flash of minds, 
In great new circumstance unknown before. 

Meanwhile, unnoticed, from the glens beneath 
Uprolls a sea of mist. The wind hath changed ; 
And the fine snow, as sharp as needle-points, 
Blows in their faces. Mist, thick mist, pours on, 
And so enshrouds them where they sit or stand 
That each to each looms spectral and remote 
A thing of shadows in a shadowy land ; 
The mountain-top and twenty yards around, 
The only visible earth ; themselves alone 
The earth's inhabitants. At times a glimpse 
Through drifting clouds that clash against the Ben, 
Unveils the world below : Lochiel's blue wave ; 
And far away a wilderness of hills ; 
And then the pageant passes like a thought, 
And they are shut in Chaos, as before 
A chaos of upsurging, streaming mist, 
From which they may not stir, if they would live. 
For all around are yawning pits and chasms, 
And on one side a precipice of rock, 
Where half-way down the eagle seems a moth, 
And crags, as lofty as cathedrals, dwarf 
To things scarce bigger than an urchin's toy. 

Three hours amid the mist ! The guides alarm'd, 
Betray by rapid looks, yet not by words, 
Their growing terror, lest the night should come 
And find them still upon the mountain-top. 
And now the big rain and the whistling hail, 
As large as cherries shaken from the bough, 
Bursts from the cloud as from a floating sea, 
And on their shelterless heads and shivering forma 
Pours in fierce torrents. Huddled close as sheep 
When winter snows fall sudden on the fold, 
They crowd together, wrapping thick in plaids 
The tender women. But the drenching storm 
Must work its will ; and if it rage till night 
Cannot, with all its fury, harm them more 
Thau it hath done in this one gush of Time ; 
For they are wet as sea- weeds on the rock 
When the full tide comes plashing, roaring in 
And must endure the evil ; better still , 
They turn it into merriment and joy. 



198 A MAN'S HEART. 

Six hours amid the storm ! The mist upclears 
And they behold again the welcome world 
Around them and beneath ; and far adown 
The straggling remnants of the cloudy host, 
Foil'd in the assault against the steadfast hills, 
Lag in the valleys, broken, and confused. 

But gathering near on level of their sight, 
The anxious guide descries the phalanx huge 
Of clouds with blacker bosoms, Iightning 1 fraug1it. 
' Let us descend,' he saith ; * There's clanger near, 
And greatest danger on the mountain-top. 
There's shelter in the glen ; and one hour's march 
Will bring us to the ponies. Let's away ! ' 

They start in resolute haste, the guides in front, 
Arthur and Edith next, liuk'd hand in hand ; 
Then Westwood, Rose, and Trevor. Wild and bare 
And dark around them lies the wilderness 
Of shiver'd rock and gaunt mis-shapen crag. 
Toilsome th' ascent ; but perilous and slow 
The downward scramble o er the slippery shale 
That yields beneath the feet. But on they press ; 
For, lo ! the gusty rain with fitful whirl 
Beats in their faces, and the lightning-burst 
Illumines heaven with glare blue-venomous, 
And drags behind it in its fiery car 
Th' obedient thunder. Lifting up its voice 
It shouts to all the hills, which answer back 
From cavernous glens and conies far away. 
And, lo ! the bolt hath fallen where they stood, 
And with a crash as if the Ben were riven 
To its deep heart, down falls the jutting crag 
In multitudinous heaps of splintering stone. 

The women shriek hi terror ; and the men, 
With fear- white faces and uplifted hair. 
Appeal with eloquent eyes to pitying Heaven 
To shield and save them 'mid the war of storms. 
Then as the coiling echoes die away, 
Press onward, downward, with redoubled haste, 
To reach the shelter where their tether'd steeds 
Await their coming. 

Vainly they'd escape 

The region of the thick tempestuous cloud ; 
For lower do\vu, and filling all the glen, 
The mists have gather'd ; and once more they halt, 
Uncertain where to turn, or where to rest. 
The guide, at fault, has wander'd from the way 
And night is looming. Edith's heart beats high 
With hope and courage ; Rose's faints and fails. 
The men are vigorous, as men should be ; 
And holding counsel with their high resolve, 



A MAN'S HEART. 199 

Weigh all the chances of the mist and storm, " 
And how they best shall help their tender ones 
To pass the night in safety on the Ben. 

They sit, they talk, they know not what to do, 
Yet fear no evil greater than the cold, 
When suddenly a yista through the cloud 
Unfolds the lingering splendours of the day, 
Fading in twilight ; and a golden gleam 
Into the darkening landscape far adown, 
Mountain, and lake, and many a seaward glen. 
Edith and Rose, as agile and alert 
As dapple fawns that sport upon the hill, 
Trip lightly forth, like playmates, hand in hand, 
To gaze upon the loveliness beneath, 
Upon the seas of curdling cloud and mist 
In mighty masses heaving evermore, 
And deem that never have their eyes beheld 
A vision so sublime. Entranced they stand, 
As angels might have stood on Earth's first morn 
Upon the mountain peaks of Paradise, 
Wnen Chaos, disappearing, trail' d his robes 
Of shapeless mist the last time o'er the world, 
That hail'd his absence with her brightest smile, 
And leap'd to be released. 

But creeping slow, 

Unseen, unnoticed 'mid their ecstasy 
A cloud that might have covered half the Isles, 
Down sailing from the far-off Northern seas, 
O'er Grampian summits, clad them round about 
So densely, that the ground on which they trod 
Became invisible and their outstretch'd hands ; 
Faded away into the hungry space, 
And their near faces disappeared in cloud. 

They call'd upon the names of those they loved : 
Louder yet louder still and heard far off 
A fault response come shatter'd up the glen. 
' Courage ! ' said Edith ; ' Courage ! here we stand 
Until they rescue us. To move is death.' 
The other spake no word, but grasp'd her hand ; 
And ever and anon they heard far down 
The voices calling them. * Oh, sister mine ! 
Sister thou art, and more than sisterly 
Let us be brave. 'Tis but one dark ; cold night, 
And after night the mom. The rising day 
Will clear the blinding mist, and help will come.' 

They sat them sadly down, but scarce had room 
Upon that narrow ledge of shelving rock 
To rest their trembling feet or fever'd heads. 
* Courage ! ' said Edith. ' Courage ! ' answerM Rose. 
'Twas the last word that either of them spake 
In that long night : for Sleep, the invincible, 



200 A MAN'S HEART. 

Best friend of mortals, next to friendlier Death, 
Press'd on the eyelids of the tenderer flower, 
Unwelcome and unask'd, but still benign, 
And drown'd her sorrow in unconsciousness. 

Ere mom she woke and lo ! she was alone ! 
And where was Edith ? Brightly shone the sun, 
The earth was luminous, the mountain-top 
Stood clear and sharp against the bright blue sky, 
And every cot and bothy in the glen, 
Ay, every tree and boulder miles below, 
Was palpably denned : but where was she ? 
Had she, adventurous, braved the pathless wild, 
Or sought the aid of shepherds from the farms 
To save her weaker sister ? Ay ! no doubt ! 
.For she was bold and of a noble heart ! 
Alas! alas! that Fate, or Providence. 
Or Doom, or Fitness twin-conceived with Fate 
Ere Earth began her orbit, or the Sun 
Shone in the centre to compel her course, 
Should have decreed that this most innocent life 
Should be such victim, and that such despair 
Should follow on such superabundant joy ! 

Ah ! little did they think who all night long 
Mourn'd for her houseless on that ghastly hill, 
And hoped and pray'd for coming of the morn, 
What utter, unimagined misery 
One little moment and one step in the dark 
Might bring to many lives so fondly link'd 
By love, and friendship, and sweet sympathy . 

Wakeful impetuous eager for the dawn, 
That faintly stream'd o'er blue Loch Linnhe's wave, 
Edith had wauder'd from the ledge of rock, 
To look for aid, that she imagined near, 
Unweeting of the precipice beneath, 
And lost her footing ! With one wild, sharp shriek 
That roused the sleeper but too late to help 
And swiftly as a bird that leaves the cliff 
To sail the friendly air, she reel'd and fell 
Down, down, into the treacherous abyss 
Three hundred fathoms down to certain death. 

It was not till the noon the dreadful noon- 
Glaring and gay as if this tiling were not- 
Glaring and staring in its lusty life 
That they discoverd, in the gl'en below, 
The lovely body of the loveliest soul 
That ever brought a comfort to the world, 
Or took a joy away in going home 
To that serener world whose door is Death. 
The tender limbs, the white maternal breast, 
Were bruised and mangled by the cruel rock ; 



A MAN'S HEART. 201 

But it had spared the beautiful bright face 

Which seem'd as if th' angelic spirit slept, 

And might awaken yet, if Love would call. 

And Love did call, with wild and passionate speech, 

With frantic gesture and insatiate kiss 

Upon the clay-cold lips that kiss'd not back, 

And on the closed eyelids of bright eyes 

That look'd not love again or look'd from Heaven. 

For three long months lay Arthur on his bed 
Delirious, raving of the love he'd lost, 
And talking to her in uneasy dreams, 
As if she lived, and sat beside him still, 
I An angel at his pillow. ^ But this pass'd, 
And he recover'd consciousness and strength, 
And walk'd again into the world of men. 
He pass'd among them, alien to their joys; 
For all his thoughts were colour'd by his loss, 
And to his mind, high-wrought by suffering, 
He deem'd it sacrilege that ne should smile ; 
And selfishness that any scheme of life, 
Without her presence, should be worth his care 
* Men have no hearts,' he said. * Alas ! not so ; 
'Tis heart, not head, that ravages the world 
'Tis heart that makes the misery of hearts. 
And life were happy as a midge's dance, 
If heart ne'er taught us that humanity 
Is bom in lives in dies in suffering. 

4 Since first I lost her, oh, my heart's best treasure ! 
There hath been darkness on the weary day ; 
A throbbing anguish in the purest pleasure ' 
Pleasure ! Ah, no ! Its fair face pass'd away 
With hers still fairer ; and its glancing robe, 
Mist-woven, vanish'd from the globe. 
I look upon the light of morn, 
And wonder, utterly forlorn. 
How it can break when she s no longer here ; 
And when the young buds blow 
Rose-tipp'd or white as snow, 
There seems a want of Pity in our sphere, 
That Nature's self should not refuse 
The sunshine and the dews, 
When she, her sweetest child, 
So young and undefiled, 
No longer breathes upon the vernal air 
The fragrance of her unforgotten bloom- 
Lost ! lost for ever, in the tomb, 
That never yet had habitant so fair. 

1 Come Day ! Come Night ! 
I note your changes, heedless of them all ; 
For evermore, betwixt you and my sight, 
A sweet face, with a coronal 



A MAN'S HEART. 

Of glory, heavenly bright, 
Looks down upon me, tinting- the long hours 
With a celestial paleness. Sleeping, waking, 
Ever I see it ; till my eyes drop showers, 
And make the vision brighter by my weeping ; 
Brighter but still more sorrowful to see, 
Except when Night lies gently on my brain, 
And Sleep restores her to my soul again, 
As Death Sleep's sister shall in days to be, 
If day be word or thing, in God's Eternity. 

'Where are my once high thoughts that soarM sublime, 
My purpose brave ; 

The hopeful glow and fervour of my prime ? 
Low in her grave. 

Most little and most mean appear to me 
All that the world can offer me again. 
Wealth is a froth-bell on a billowy sea, 
And power, and pride, and all the gauds of men, 
Mere tricks and shadows. Were I Earth's sole king, 
To rule all nations by my high behest, 
Nor I, nor they, nor all their wealth, could bring 
My lost beloved living to my breast. 
Why could I not have known, ere forth she went 
To that angelic land where she appears 
In her full glory, that she was but lent 
For brief, brief space a halo 'mid my tears ? 
That in each moment of her perish'd years 
I might have pour'd upon her radiant head 
More wealth of Love than ever heart of man 
Pour'd upon mortal ? Let my tears be shed. 
No one shall comfort me. And no one can. 

1 Was she so like an angel in pure guise, ' 
That thou shpuldst take her, ere her time, Death ! 
To join her sisterhood in Paradise ? 
Or was the earth too balmy with her breath, 
Too radiant with the light 
Drawn from the Infinite, 
And concentrated on her innocent lips, 
That thou shouldst pass, with this too dire eclipse, 
And rob us of her beauty? J Twas unjust 
To Earth and Heaven to lay her in the dust, 
Ere she had shown us all her wealth of bloom, 
Only to feed the avaricious tomb ! 
Lo! Misery, through long days 
Clasps her lean hands and prays 
That on her head may all thy shafts be hurl'd. 
Lo ! Age and Pain implore 
That thou wouldst ope thy door. 
And let them ooze into the painless world ! 
Why pass them ? They would bless thy power, 
But mine own sweet and early blossoming flower 



A MAN'S HEART. 203 

Adom'd the forest, and made bright the place 
Where we beheld her in her youthful grace. 
The poison weeds grow rank, and taint the air, 
While the sweet violets fade, and rose and lily fair. 

{ Methinks the spirits of the sainted dead, 
Whom in their lives we loved, are with us still, 
That all around our paths their light is shed ; 
Pervading witnesses, who at their will 
Know all we think or do. Let us be pure. 
Let us not give their Immortality 
Reason for sorrow or shame. Let us endure 
Calmly, though sadly, the all-wise decree 
That took them from us : and instead of flowers 
To strew upon their graves, or tombs high-piled, 
Let us bestow on them unsullied hours, 
And innocent thoughts, and actions imdefiled.' 

But these were whispers spoken to himself. 
A deeper purpose settled on his mind, 
A dark presentiment that he should die 
When he had ended an appointed task. 
* Father,' he said, ' I feel that I shall live 
To rmislrEdith's portrait. When 'tis done, 
I know that I shall die. Nay, argue not ; 
For by an inner consciousness, and voice 
That seems like Edith's whispering in my mind, 
I know that this shall be. 

And so he wrought 
Daily upon the portrait of his love, 
That grew beneath his hand a masterpiece. 
And oft he'd gaze upon it by the hour, 
Imagining some touch were't but a hair- 
To add resemblance ; dallying with the smile ! 
That gleam'd upon the lips, or with the glance, 
Soul-speaking, of the pensive full dark eyes. 
He lived but for his picture : that alone 
Had full possession of his mind and heart. 
And every faculty. And when at last 
The work was done, and art could do no more, 
His mournful prophecy of love and grief 
Fulfill' d itself : and breathing the one name, 
He laid his head upon his father's breast, 
And clasp'd the Sympathizing hand, and died. 

They sleep together, in one humble grave, 
Under the ancient yew that overlooks 
The moss-grown portico of Erlwood Church. 
And thither every morn a maiden comes 
To tend the flowers ; and thither every night 
A father strays lamentiDg for his son. 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD, 1845-6, 



PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION, 1857. 

' [' THE Poems entitled " Voices from the Crowd," were for the most part written 
in the year 1845 and in the early part of 1846, a time of social and political agi- 
tation. The Com Laws were unrepealed ; and Sir Robert Peel had not announced 
the downfall of the old protective system. Many of them were intended to aid 
as far as verses could aid the efforts of the zealous and able men who were en- 
deavouring to create a public opinion in favour of uutaxed food, and of Free Trade 
and free intercourse among all the nations of the world. They were written as 
plainly as possible, that they might express the general sentiment of the toiling 
classes in phraseology broad, simple, and intelligible. '] 



THE VOICE OF THE TIME. 



DAY unto day utters speech 
Be wise, ye nations ! and hear 
What yesterday telleth to-day, 
What to-day to the morrow will preach. 
A change cometh over our sphere, 

And the old goeth down to decay. 
A new light hath dawn'd on the darkness of yore, 
And men shall be slaves and oppressors no more. 

ii. 

Hark to the throbbing of thought, 
In the breast of the wakening world : 

Over land, over sea, it hath come. 
The serf that was yesterday bought, 
To-day his defiance hath hurl'd, 
No more in his slavery dumb ; 
And to-morrow will break from the fetters that bind, 
And lift a bold arm for the rights of mankind. 

in. 

Hark to the voice of the time ! 
The multitude think for themselves, 

And weigh their condition, each one. 
The drudge has a spirit sublime, 
And whether he hammers or delves, 
He reads when his labour is done ; 
And learns, though he groan under penury's ban. 
That freedom to think is the birthright of man. 



THE CRY OF THE PEOPLE. 

IV. 

But yesterday thought was confined ; 
To breathe it was peril or death, 

And it sank in the breast where it rose ; 
Now, free as the midsummer wind, 
It sports its adventurous breath, 

And round the wide universe goes j 
The mist and the cloud from its pathway are curl'd, 
And glimpses of glory illumine the world. 

v. 

The voice of opinion has grown : 
; Twas yesterday changeful and weak, 

Like the voice of a boy ere his prime 
To-day it has taken the tone 
Of an orator worthy to speak, 

Who knows the demands of the time 
And to-morrow 'twill sound in Oppression's cold ear 
Like the trump of the seraph to startle our sphere. 

VI. 

Be wise, ye rulers of earth ! 
And shut not your ears to the voice, 
Nor allow it to warn you in vain ; 
True freedom, of yesterday's birth, 
Will march on its way and rejoice, 

And never be conquer'd again. 
The day has a tongue ay, the hours utter speech- 
Wise, wise will ye be, if ye learn what they teach ! 



THE CRY OF THE PEOPLE. 
(BEFORE THE REPEAL OP THE CORN LAWS.) 



OUR backs are bow'd with the exceeding weight 

Of toil and sorrow ; and our pallid faces 
Shrivel before their time. Early and late 

We labour in our old accustom'd places, 
Beside our close and melancholy looms, 

Or wither in the coal-seams dark and dreary, 
Or breathe sick vapours in o'ercrpwded rooms, 

Or in the healthier fields dig till we weary, 
And grow old men ere we have reached our prime, 
With scarce a wish, but death, to ask of Time. 

ii. 

For it is hard to labour night and day, 
With sleep-defrauded eyes and temples aching, 

To earn the scanty crust, which fails to stay 
The hunger of our little ones, that waking 



206 VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 

Weep for their daily bread. 'Tis hard to see 
The fiWrets of our household fade in sadness, 

In the dank shadow of our misery. 
J Tis hard to have no thought of-human gladness, 

But one engrossing agony for bread, 

To haunt us at our toil, and in our bed. 

in. 

And many of us, worn with age and pain- 
Old withered leaves of men, who, fading, cumber, 

Long for that pleasant fosse, six feet by twain, 
Impervious to all grief, where we may slumber. 

And others of us, more unhappy still, 
Youthful, warm-blooded, with a life to cherish, 

Offer in vain our smews and our skill 
For starving recompense, and yet must perish 

In our young days, and on a fruitful soil, 

Because our food is dearer than our toil. 

IV. 

'Tis hard to know that the increase of wealth 

Makes us no richer, gives us no reliance ; 
And that while ease, and luxury, and health 

Follow the footsteps of advancing science, 
They shower no benefits on us. cast out 

From the fair highways of tne world, to wander 
In dark paths darkly groping still about, 

And at each turn condemn'd to rest, and ponder 
If living be the only aim of life 
Mere living, purchased by perpetual strife ? 

v. 

We rise in grief in grief lie down again ; 

And whither to turn for aid in our deep anguish 
We know not yet we feel that we are men, 

Bom to live out our days and not to languish 
As if we had no souls ; as if, stone-blind, 

We knew not spring was fair ; and that the summer 
Ripen'd the fruits of earth with influence kind ; 

That harvest ought to be a welcome comer 
To us and ours ; and that in Nature's face 
Were smiles of joy for all the human race. 

VI. 

We ask not much. We have no dread of toil ; 

Too happy we, if labour could provide us, 
Even though we doubled all our sweat and moil, 

Raiment and food and shelt'ring roofs to hide us 
From the damp air, and from the winter's cold ; 

If we could see our wives contented round us, 
And to our arms our little children fold, 

Nor fear that next day's hunger should confound us. 
With joys like these, and one sweet day of rest, 
We would complain no more, but labour, bless'd. 



THE WATCHER ON THE TOWER. 207 

VII. 

But these we sigli for all our clays in vain, 

And find no remedy where'er we seek it ; 
Some of us, reckless, aud grown mad with pain 

And hungry vengeance, have broke loose to wreak it : 
Have made huge bonfires of the hoarded com, 

And died despairing. Some to foreign regions, 
Hopeless of this, have sail'd away forlorn, 

To find new homes and swear a new allegiance. 
But we that stay'd behind had no relief, 
No added corn, and no diminish'd grief. 

VIII. 

And rich men kindly urge us to endure, 

And they will send us clergymen to bless us ; 
And lords who play at cricket with the poor, 

Think they have cured all evils that oppress us. 
And then we think endurance is a crime ; 

That those who wait for justice never gain it; 
And that the multitudes are most sublime 

When, rising arm'd, they combat to obtain it, 
And dabbling in thick gore, as if 'twere dew, 
Seek not alone their rights, but Vengeance too. 

IX. 

But these are evil thoughts ; for well we know, 

From the sad history of all times and places, 
That fire, and blood, and social overthrow, 

Lead but to harder grinding of our faces 
When all is over : so, from strife withdrawn, 

We wait in patience through the night of sorrow, 
And watch the far-off glimpses of the dawn 

That shall assure us of a brighter morrow. 
And meanwhile, from the overburden'd sod, 
Our cry of anguish rises up to God ! 



THE WATCHER ON THE TOWER. 

' WHAT dost thou see, lone watcher on the tower ? 
Is the day breaking ? comes the wish'd-f or hour ? 
Tell us the signs, and stretch abroad thy hand 
If the bright morning dawns upon the land.' 

' The stars are clear above me, scarcely one 
Has dimm'd its rays in reverence to the sun ; 
But yet I see, on the horizon's verge, 
Some fair, faint streaks, as if the light would surge.' 



208 VOICES FEOM THE CROWD. 

I Look forth again, watcher on the tower 
The people wake, and languish for the hour ; 
Long have they dwelt in darkness, and they pine 
For the full daylight which they know must shine.' 

I 1 see not well the morn is cloudy still. 
There is a radiance on the distant hill ; 
Even as I watch the glory seems to grow ; 

But the stars blink, and the night breezes blow/ 

' And is that all, watcher on the tower? 
Look forth again ; it must be near the hour. 
Dost thou not see the snowy mountain-copes, 
And the green woods beneath them on the slopes ? ' 

' A mist envelopes them ; I cannot trace 
Their outline ; but the day comes on apace. 
The clouds roll up in gold and amber flakes, 
And all the stars grow dim. The morning breaks. 1 

4 We thank thee, lonely watcher on the tower ; 
But look again ; and tell us, hour by hour, 
All thou beholdest. Many of us die 
Ere the day comes; oh, give us a reply !' 

' I see the hill-tops now ; and Chanticleer 
Crows his prophetic carol on mine ear ; 
I see the distant woods and fields of corn, 
And Ocean gleaming in the light of morn.' 

* Again again watcher on the tower ! 
We thirst for daylight, and we bide the hour, 
Patient, but longing. Tell us, shall it be 

A bright, calm, glorious daylight for the free?' 

' I hope, but cannot tell. I hear a song, 
Vivid as day itself, and clear and strong, 
As of a lark young prophet of the noon 
Pouring in sunlight his ecstatic tune.' 

* What doth he say, watcher on the tower ? 
Is he a prophet ? Doth the dawning hour 
Inspire his music? Is his chant sublime, 
With the full glories of the Future time ?' 

' He prophesies ; his heart is full ; his lay 
Tells of the brightness of a peaceful day ; 
A day not cloudless, nor devoid of storm, 
But sunny for the most, and clear and warm.' 

* We thank thee, watcher on the lonely tower, 
For all thou tellest. Sings he of an hour 
When Error shall decay, and Truth grow strong, 
And Right shall rule supreme and vanquish Wrong? ' 

' He sings of brotherhood, and joy, and peace, 
Of days when jealousies and hate shall cease : 



THE GOOD TIME COMING. 



209 



When war shall die, and man's progressive mind 
Soar as unfettered as its God design'd.' 

' Well done ! thou watcher on the lonely tower ! 
Is the day breaking 1 ? dawns the happy liour? 
We pine to see it : tell us, yet again, 
If the broad daylight breaks upon the plain ?' 

' It breaks it comes the misty shadows fly : 
A rosy radiance gleams upon the sky ; 
The mountain-tops reflect it calm and clear ; 
The plain is yet in shade, but day is near/ 



CLEAR THE WAY. 

MEN of thought ! be up, and stirring 

Night and day : 
Sow the seed withdraw the curtain 

CLEAR THE WAY ! 
Men of action, aid and cheer them, 

As ye may ! 

There's a fount about to stream, 
There's a light about to beam, 
There's a warmth about to glow, 
There's a flower about to blow ; 
There's a midnight blackness changing 

Into gray ; 
Men of thought and men of action, 

CLEAR THE WAY! 

Once the welcome light has broken, 

Who shall say 
What the unimagined glories 

Of the day? 
What the evil that shall perish 

In its ray 

Aid the dawning, tongue and pen ; 
Aid it, hopes of honest men ; 
Aid it, paper aid it, type 
Aid it, for the hour is ripe, 
And our earnest must not slacken 

Into play. 
Men of thought and men of action, 

CLEAR THE WAY ! 

Lo ! a cloud's about to vanish 

From the day ; 
And a brazen wrong to crumble 

Into clay. 
Lo ! the Right's about to conquer, 

CLEAR THE WAY. 



With the Right shall many more 
Enter smiling at the door ; 
With the giant Wrong shall fall 
Many others, great and small, 
That for ages long have held us ' 

For their prey. 
Men of thought and men of action, 

CLEAR THE WAY ! 



THE GOOD TIME COMING. 

THERE'S a good time coining, boys, 

A good time coming : 
We may not live to see the day, 
But earth shall glisten in the ray 

Of the good time coming. 
Cannon-balls may aid the truth, 

But thought's a weapon stronger ; 
We'll win our battle by its aid; " 

Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coining, boys, 

A good time coming : 
The pen shall supersede the sword, 
And Right, not Might, shall be the lord 

In the good time coming. 
Worth, not Birth, shall rule mankind, 

And be acknowledged stronger ; 
The proper impulse has been given ; 

Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coming, boys, 

A good time coining : 
War in all men's eyes shall be 
A monster of iniquity 

In the good time coming : 



210 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



Nations shall not quarrel then, 
To prove which is the stronger ; 

Nor slaughter men for glory's sake ; 
Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coming, boys, 

A good time coming : 
Hateful rivalries of creed 
Shall not make their martyrs bleed 

In the good time coming. 
Religion shall be shorn of pride, 

And flourish all the stronger ; 
And Charity shall trim her lamp ; 

Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coming, boys, 

A good time coming : 
And a poor man's family 
Shall not be his misery 

In the good time coming. 
Every child shall be a help, 

To make his right arm stronger ; 
The happier he the more he has ; 

Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coining, boys, 

A good time coming : 
Little children shall not toil, 
Under, or above the soil, 

In the good time coming ; 
But shall play in healthful fields 

Till limbs and mind grow stronger ; 
And every one shall read and write ; 

Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coming, boys, 

A good time coming : 
The people shall be temperate, 
And shall love instead of hate, 

In the good time coining. 
They shall use, and not abuse, 

And make all virtue stronger. 
The reformation has begun ; 

Wait a little longer. 

There's a good time coming, boys, 

A good time coming : 
Let us aid it all we can, 
Every woman, every man, 

The good time coming. 
Smallest helps, if rightly given, 

Make the impulse stronger ; 
'Twill be strong enough one day ; 

Wait a little longer. 



THE WANTS OF THE PEOPLE. 
1846. 

WHAT do we want ? Our daily bread ; 

Leave to earn it by our skill ; 
Leave to labour freely for it, 

Leave to buy it where we will : 
For 'tis hard upon the many 

Hard, unpitied by the few, 
To starve and die for want of work, 

Or live half -starved with work to do. 

What do we want ? Our daily bread ; 

Fair reward for labour done ; 
Daily bread for wives and children ; 

All our wants are merged in one. 
When the fierce fiend Hunger grips us, 

Evil fancies clog our brains, 
Vengeance settles on our hearts, 

And Frenzy gallops through our 
veins. 

What do we want? Our daily bread ; 

Give us that ; all else will come 
Self-respect and self-denial, 

And the happiness of home ; 
Kindly feelings, education, 

Liberty for act and thought ; 
And surety that, whate'er befall, 

Our children shall be fed and taught. 

What do we want 1 Our daily bread ; 

Give us that for willing toil : 
Make us sharers in the plenty 

God has shower'd upon the soil ; 
And we'll nurse our better natures 

With bold hearts and judgment 

strong, 
To do as much as men can do 

To keep the world from going wrong. 

What do we want ? Our daily bread, 

And trade untrammelPd as the wind; 
And from our ranks shall spirits start, 
To aid the progress of mankind. 
is, poets, mechanicians, 
lighty thinkers, shall arise, 
To take their share of loftier work, 
And teach, exalt, and civilize. 

What do we want ? Our daily bread : 
Grant it : make our efforts free ; 

Let us work and let us prosper ; 
You shall prosper more than we ; 



THE THREE PREACHERS. 



211 



And the humblest homes of England 
Shall, in proper time, give birth 

To better men than we have been, 
To live upon a better Earth. 



THE THREE PREACHERS. 

i. 

THERE are three preachers, ever preach- 
ing, 

Fill'd with eloquence and power : 
One is old, with locks of white, 
Skinny as an anchorite ; 

And he preaches every hour 
With a shrill fanatic voice, 

And a bigot's fiery scorn : 
' BACKWARD ! ye presumptuous nations; 

Man to misery is born ! 
Born to drudge, and sweat, and suffer 

Born to labour and to pray ; 
BACKWARD ! ye presumptuous nations 

Back ! be humble and obey ! ; 

ii. 
The second is a milder preacher ; 

Soft he talks as if he sung ; 
Sleek and slothful is his look, 
And his words, as from a book, 

Issue glibly from his tongue. 
With an air of self-content, 

High he lifts his fair white hands : 
' STAND YE STILL ! ye restless nations ; 

And be happy, all ye lands ! 
Fate is law, and law is perfect ; 

If ye meddle, ye will mar ; 
Change is rash, and ever was so : 

We are happy as we are/ 

in. 
Mightier is the younger preacher, 

Genius flashes from his eyes ; 
And the crowds who hear his voice, 
Give him, while their souls rejoice, 

Throbbing bosoms for replies. 
Awed they listen, yet elated, 

While his stirring accents fall : 
* FORWARD ! ye deluded nations, 

Progress is the rule of all : 
Man was made for healthful effort ; 

Tyranny has crush'd him long ; 
He shall march from good to better, 

And do battle with the wrong. 



IV. 

Standing still is childish folly, 

Going backward is a crime : 
None should patiently endure 
Any ill that he can cure ; 

ONWARD ! keep the march of Time. 
Onward ! while a wrong remains 

To be conquer'd by the right ; 
While Oppression lifts a finger 

To affront us by his might ; 
While an error clouds the reason 

Of the universal heart, 
Or a slave awaits his freedom, 

Action is the wise man's part. 

v. 
' Lo ! the world is rich in blessings : 

Earth and Ocean, flame and wind, 
Have unnumber'd secrets still. 
To be ransack'd when you will, 

For the service of mankind ; 
Science is a child as yet, 

And her power and scope shall grow, 
And her triumphs in the future 

Shall diminish toil and woe ; 
Shall extend the bounds of pleasure 

With an ever-widening ken, 
And of woods and wildernesses 

Make the homes of happy men. 

VI. 

* ONWARD ! there are ills to conquer, 

Daily wickedness is wrought, 
Tyranny is sworn with Pride, 
Bigotry is deified, 

Error intertwined with Thought. 
Vice and Misery ramp and crawl ; 

Root them out, then* day has pass'd ; 
Goodness is alone immortal ; 

Evil was not made to last : 
ONWARD ! and all Earth shall aid us 

Ere our peaceful flag be fuii'd.' 
And the preaching of this preacher 

Stirs the pulses of the world. 



OLD OPINIONS. 

ONCE we thought that Power Eternal 
Had decreed the woes of man ; 

That the human heart was wicked 
Since its pulses first began ; 

That the earth was but a prison, 
Dark and joyless at the best, 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



And that men were born for evil, 
And imbibed it from the breast ; 

That 'twas vain to think of urging 
Any earthly progress on. 

Old opinions ! rags and tatters ! 
Get you gone ! get you gone ! 

Once we thought all human sorrows 

Were predestined to endure ; 
That, as man had never made them, 

Men were impotent to cure ; 
That the few were born superior, 

Though the many might rebel ; 
Those to sit at Nature's table. 

These to pick the crumbs that fell ; 
Those to live upon the fatness, 

These the starvelings, lank and wan. 
Old opinions! rags and tatters! 

Get you gone ! get you gone ! 

Once we thought that holy Freedom 

Was a cursed and tainted thing ; 
Foe of Peace, and Law, and Virtue ; 

Foe of Magistrate and King ; 
That all vile degraded passion 

Ever follow'd in her path ; 
Lust and Plunder, War and Rapine, 

Tears, and Anarchy, and Wrath ; 
That the angel was a cruel, 

Haughty, blood-stain'd Amazon. 
Old opinions ! rags and tatters ! 

Get you gone ! get you gone ! 

Once we thought it right to foster 

Local jealousies and pride ; 
Eight to hate another nation 

Parted from us by a tide ; 
Eight to go to war for glory, 

Or extension of domain ; 
Eight, through fear of foreign rivals, 

To refuse the needful gram ; 
Eight to bar it out till Famine 

Drew the bolt with fingers wan. 
Old opinions ! rags and tatters ! 
. Get you gone ! get you gone ! 

Once we thought that Education 

Was a luxury for the few ; 
That to give it to the many 

Was to give it scope undue : 
That 'twas foolish to imagine 

It could be as free as air, 
Common as the glorious sunshine 

To the child of want and care : 



That the poor man, educated, 
Quarrell'd with his toil anon. 

Old opinions ! rags and tatters ! 
Get you gone ! get you gone ! 

Old opinions, rags and tatters ; 

Ye are worn ; ah, quite threadbare ! 
We must cast you oft' for ever ; 
T We are wiser than we were : 
Never fitting, always cramping, 

Letting in the wind and sleet, 
Chilling us with rheums and agues, 

Or inflaming us with heat. 
We have found a mental raiment 

Purer, whiter, to put on. 
Old opinions ! rags and tatters ! 

Get you gone ! get you gone ! 



DAILY WOEK. 1846. 

WHO lags for dread of daily work, 
And his appointed task would shirk, 
Commits a folly and a crime; 

A soulless slave a paltry knave 
A clog upon the wheels of Time. 
With work to do, and store of health, 
The man's unworthy to be free, 

Who will not give, that he may live, 
His daily toil for daily fee. 

No ! Let us work ! We only ask 
Eeward proportion'd to our task : 
We have no quarrel with the great; 
No feud with rank with mill or 

bank- 
No envy of a lord's estate. 
If we can earn sufficient store 
To satisfy our daily need ; 

And can retain, for age and pain, 
A fraction, we are rich indeed. 

No dread of toil have we or ours ; 

We know our worth, and weigh our 

powers; 

The more we work the more we win : 
Success to Trade! Success to 

Spade ! 

And to the corn that's coming in ! 
And joy to him, who o'er his task 
Eemembers toil is Nature's plan ; 
Who, working, thinks and never 

sinks 
His independence as a man. 



A DREAM OF THE COMING YEARS. 



213 



Who only asks for humblest wealth, 
Enough for competence and health ; 
And leisure, when his work is done, 

To read his book by chimney-nook, 
Or stroll at setting of the sun : 
Who toils, as every man should toil, 
For fair reward, erect and free. 
These are the men the best of 

men 
These are the men we mean to be ! 



A DREAM OF THE COMING 
YEARS. 1843. 

[Written for the Anti-slavery Convention.] 
I. 

IN the deep midnight solitude 

A vision o'er my spirit came ; 
Methought upon a mountain stood 

A mighty angel, robed in flame, 
Who, with a voice that shook the sphere, 

CalFd to the nations, every one, 
To gather at his feet and hear 

That a new era had begun. 
And lo ! he waved his giant hand, 
And forth they came, from every land, 

Illumined by the sun. 

ii. 

Thick as the dust o'er deserts driven 

In clouds by the Sirocco blast, 
From every region under heaven 

Th' innumerable millions pass'd. 
Methought upon a boundless shore 

Before my eyes outstretch'd they stood, 
Sublime and vast, and evermore 

Moved like the green leaves of a wood, 
When storms amid their branches blow, 
Roaring and shaking to and fro, 

A fearful multitude. 

in. 
With visage that outslione the sun, 

So bright with heavenly love to men, 
When they had gather'd every one, 

Methought the angel spoke again. 
O'er all the listening earth his voice 

Roll'd like the thunder passing by, 
And bade the suffering lands rejoice 

And praise their God that ruled on high, 
That Strife had drunk her fill of gore, 
And Peace should reign for evermore 

On earth as in the sky. 



IV. 

The people bow'd their myriad knees, 

And the deep murmur of their prayer, 
Like the conflicting roar of seas. 

Broke forth upon the silent air. 
He spoke again, and all was dumb 

While peal'd the words o'er land and 

sea, 
' Rejoice, man, the hour has come, 

When slavery must cease to be ; 
The cry has risen from the sod, 
From suffering millions up to God, 

And all mankind are free ! 

v. 
1 No more shall mother slaves give birth 

To babes for traders to trepan 
No more shall tyrants rule the earth, 

Or man be enemy of man. 
From West to East from South to 
North, 

The voice of rivalry shall cease, 
And both the white man and the 
swarth 

Shall see their mutual love increase, 
And still, while plenty crowns the sod, 
Shall botli enjoy the gifts of God 

In freedom and in peace ! 

VI. 

* No more shall war affright the day, 

Or rapine smoke obscure the sun, 
The olden age has pass'd away, 

And the new era has begun ! ' 
He said and in a stream of light 

Methought he vanish'd to the sky, 
While all the people at the sight 

Bow'd low their heads in ecstasy. 
And call'd each other to rejoice, 
And shout with one triumphant voice 

Praise to the Lord on high. 

VII. 

The vision fled ! dreaming heart ! 

And shall the hope in slumbers given 
Droop in the waking and depart ? 

Forbid it, relenting Heaven ! 
Experience may obscure the beam 

That hearts enthusiastic see ; 
But were perfection all a dream, 

How cold and dark this world would 

be! 

Hopes of the just if ye increase, 
The strife begun shall never cease, 

Till all mankind are free ! 



214 VOICES FROM THE CROWD, 



RAILWAYS. 184G. 

' No poetry in Railways ! ' foolish thought 
Of a dull braiii, to no fine music wrought. 
By mammon dazzled, though the people prize 
The gold alone, yet shall not we despise 
The triumphs of our time, or fail to see 
Of pregnant mind the fruitful progeny 
Ushering the daylight of the world's new mom. 
Look up, ye doubters, be no more forlorn ! 
Smooth your rough brows, ye little wise : rejoice, 
Ye who despond : and with exulting voice 
Salute, ye earnest spirits of our time, 
The young Improvement ripening to her prime, 
Who, in the fulness of her genial youth, 
Prepares the way for Liberty and Truth, 
Ana breaks the barriers that, since earth began, 
Have made mankind the enemy of man. 

Lay down your rails, ye nations, near and far 
Yoke your full trains to Steam's triumphal car ; 
Link town to town ; unite in iron bauds 
The long-estranged and oft-embattled lands. 
Peace, mild-eyed seraph Knowledge, light divine, 
Shall send theif messengers by every line. 
Men, join'd in amity, shall wonder long 
That Hate had power to lead their fathers wrong; 
Or that false Glory lured their hearts astray, 
And made it virtuous and sublime to slay. 

Blessings on science ! When the earth seem'd old, 
When Faith grew doting, and the Reason cold, 
'Twas she discover'd that the world was young, 
And taught a language to its lisping tongue : 
'Twas she disclosed a future to its view, 
And made old knowledge pale before the new. 

Blessings on Science ! In her dawning hour 
Faith knit her brow, alarm'd for ancient power ; 
Then look'd again upon her face sincere, 
Held out her hand, and hail'd her Sister dear ; 
And Reason, free as eagle on the wind, 
Swoop'd o'er the fallow meadows of the mind, 
And, clear of vision, saw what seed would grow 
On the hill slopes, or in the vales below ; 
What in the sunny South, or nipping Nord, 
And from her talons dropp'd it as she soai-'d. 

Blessings on Science, and her handmaid Steam ! 
They make Utopia only half a dream ; 



THE FERMENTATION. 

And show the fervent, of capacious souls, 
Who watch the hall of Progress as it rolls, 



215 



M 11U tTCWV*4 IMiA- 1 limtMJL vr* - AX>Q*^^^ 

That all as yet completed, or begun, 
Is but the dawning that precedes th< 



sun. 



THE FERMENTATION. 

LONELY sitting, deeply inusing, 

On a still and starry night, 
Full of fancies, when niy glances 
Turn'd upon those far romances 

Scattered o'er the Infinite ; 
On a sudden, broke upon me 

Murmurs, rumours, quick and loud, 
And, half-waking, I discover'd 

An innumerable crowd. 
'Mid the uproar of their voices 

Scarcely could I hear a word ; 
There was rushing, there was crushing, 
And a sound like music gushing, 

And a roar like forests stuVd 
By a fierce wind passing o'er them : 

And a voice came now and then, 
Louder than them all, exclaiming, 

' Give us Justice ! we are men ! ' 
And the longer that I listen'd, 

More distinctly could I hear, 
'Mid the poising of the voicing, 
Sounds of sorrow and rejoicing, 

Utterance of Hope and Fear ; 
And a clash of disputation, 

And of words at random cast 
Truths and Errors intermingling, 

Of the present and the past. 

Some were shouting that Oppression 

Held their consciences in thrall ; 
Some were crying, ' Men are dying, 
Hunger-smit, and none supplying 

Bread, the birthright of us all/ 
Some exclaim'd that Wealth was 
haughty, 

Harsh, and callous to trie poor ; 
Others cried, the poor were vicious, 

Idle, thankless, insecure. 

Some, with voice of indignation, 
Told the story of their wrongs, 

Full of dolour life-controller ' 

That for difference of colour 
They were sold like cattle-throngs 



Others, pallid, weak, and shivering, 
Said that laws were surely bad, 

When the willing hand was idle, 
And the cheeks of Toil were sad. 

* Give us freedom for the conscience ! ' 

' Equal rights !' ' Unfettered Mind !' 

* Education ! ' * Compensation ! 
' Justice for a mighty nation ! ' 

'Progress !'' Peace with all man- 
kind!' 
' Let us labour ! ' { Give us churches ! ' 

' Give us Corn where'er it grow ! ' 
These, and other cries, around me 

Surged incessant, loud or low. 

Old opinions jarr'd with new ones ; 

New ones jostled with the old ; 
In such Babel, few were able 
To distinguish truth from fable, 

In the tale their neighbours told. 
But one voice above all otlters 

Sounded like the voice of ten, 
Clear, sonorous, and persuasive': 

* Give us Justice ! we are men ! 

And I said. ' Sovereign Reason, 

Sire of Peace and Liberty ! 
Aid for ever their endeavour : 
Boldly let them still assever 

All the rights they claim in thee. 
Aid the miglity Fermentation 

Till it purifies at last, 
And the Future of the people 

Is made brighter than the Past.' 



THE POOR MAN'S SUNDAY 
WALK. 

THE morning of our rest has come, 

The sun is shining clear ; 
I see it on the steeple-top ; 

Put on your shawl, my dear, 
And let us leave the smoky town, 

The dense and stagnant lane, 



216 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



And take our children by the hand 

To see the fields again. 
I've pined for air the live-long week ; 

For the smell of new-mown hay ; 
For a pleasant, quiet, country walk, 

On a sunny Sabbath-day. 

Our parish church is cold and damp ; 

I need the air and sun ; 
We'll sit together on the grass, 

And see the children run. 
We'll watch them gathering buttercups, 

Or cowlips in the dell. 
Or listen to the cheerful sounds 

Of the far-off village bell ; 
And thank our God with grateful hearts, 

Though in the fields we pray ; 
And bless the healthful breeze of heaven, 

On a sunny Sabbath-day. 

I'm weary of the stifling room 

Where all the week we're pent, 
Of the alley fill'd with wretched -life 

And odours pestilent ; 
And long once more to see the fields, 

And the grazing sheep and beeves ; 
To hear the lark amid the clouds, 

And the wind among the leaves ; 
And all the sounds that glad the air 

On green hills far away 



The sounds that breathe of Peace and 

Love, 
On a sunny Sabbath-day. 

For somehow, though they call it wrong, 

In church I cannot kneel 
With half the natural thankfulness 

And piety I feel, 
When out, on such a clay as this, 

I lie upon the sod, 
And think that every leaf and flower 

Is grateful to its God : 
That I, who feel the blessing more, 

Should thank Him more tnan they 
That I can elevate my soul 

On a sunny Sabbath-day. 

Put on your shawl, and let us go j 

For one day let us think 
Of something else than daily care, 

Of toil, and meat, and drink : 
For one day let the children sport 

And feel their limbs their own ; 
For one day let us quite forget 

The grief that we have known : 
Let us forget that we are poor ; 

And, basking in the ray ? 
Thank God that we can still enjoy. 

A sunny Sabbath-day. 



THE DREAM OF THE REVELLER. 



ABOUND the board the guests were met, the lights above them beaming, 

And in their cups, replenish'd oft, the ruddy wine was streaming ; 

Their cheeks were flush'd, their eyes were bright, their hearts with pleasure 

bounded, 

The song was sung, the toast was given, and loud the revel sounded. 
I dram'd a goblet with the rest, and cried, ' Away with sorrow ! 
Let us be happy for to-day ; what care we for to-morrow ? ' 
But as I spoke, my sight grew dim, and slumber deep came o'er me, 
And, mid the whirl of mingling tongues, this vision pass'd before mi 



me. 



ii. 



Methought I saw a Demon rise : he held a mighty bicker, 
Whose burmsh'd sides ran brimming o'er with floods of burning liquor, 
Around him press'd a clamorous crowd, to taste this liquor, greedy, 
But chiefly came the poor and sad, the suffering and the needy : 
All those oppress'd by grief or debt, the dissolute, the lazy, 
Blear-eyed old men and reckless youths, and palsied women crazy ; 
Give, give ! they cried, ' Give, give us drink, to drown all thought of sorrow : 
If we are happy for to-day, what care we for to-morrow ?' 



THE DREAM OF THE REVELLER. 



217 



in. 

The first drop warm'd their shivering skins, and drove away their sadness ; 
The second lit their sunken eyes, and fill'd their souls with gladness ; 
The third drop made them shout and roar, and play each furious antic ; 
The fourth drop boil'd their very blood; and the fifth drop drove them frantic.- 
' Drink ! ' said the Demon, Drink your fill ! drink of these wateis mellow ; 
They'll make your eye-balls sear and dull, and turn your white skins yellow ; 
They'll fill your homes with care and grief, and clothe your backs with tatters ; 
They'll fill your hearts with evil thoughts ; but never mind ! what matters ? 

IV. 

* Though virtue sink, and reason fail, and social ties dissever, 
I'll be your friend hi hour of need, and find you homes for ever ! 
For I have built three mansions high, three strong and goodly houses, 
To lodge at last each jolly soul who all his life carouses. 
The first, it is a spacious house, to all but sots appalling, 
Where, by the parish bounty fed, vile, in the sunshine crawling, 
The worn-out drunkard ends his days, and eats the dole of others, 
A plague and burthen to himself, an eyesore to his brothers. 

v. 

' The second is a lazarhouse, rank, fetid, and unholy ; 
Where smitten by diseases foul and hopeless melancholy, 
The victims of potations deep pine on the couch of sadness. 
Some calling Death to end their pain, and some imploring Madness. 
The third and last is black and high, the abode of guilt and anguish, 
And full of dungeons deep and fast, where death-doom'd felons languish ; 
So drain the cup, and drain again ! One of my goodly houses 
Shall lodge at last each jolly soul who to the dregs carouses ! ' 

VI. 

But well he knew that Demon old how vain was all his preaching, 
The ragged crew that round him rlock'd were heedless of his teaching; 
Even as they heard his fearful words, they cried, with shouts of laughter, 
' Out on the fool who mars to-day with thoughts of an hereafter ! 
We care not for thy houses three ; we live but for the present ; 
And merry will we make it yet, and quaff our bumpers pleasant.' 
Loud laugh'd the fiend to hear them speak, and, lifting high his bicker, 
'Body and soul are mine ! ' said he ; 'I'll have them both for liquor/ 



THE POET AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMIST. 



THE POLITICAL ECONOMIST. 

PRITHEE, Poet, why this spinning. 

Spinning verses all the day ] 
Vain and idle thy vocation, 
Thy art useless to the nation, 

In thy labour and thy play. 
Little doth the world esteem thee, 

And it takes thee at thy worth ; 
Loftiest rhyme that e'er was fashion'd, 
Sounding, gorgeous, or impassion'd, 

Is a drug upon the earth. 



Go and be a cotton-spinner ; 

Put thy hand upon the spade 
Weave a basket out of willow ; 
Dig the mine, or sail the billow 

Anything but such a trade. 



THE POET. 



Why thy scorn, man of logic ? 

Speak of that within thy ken : 
I despise thee not ; thy labours, 
If they make us better neighbours, 

Are not valueless to men. 



218 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



Highly all the world esteems thee, 

Ana a poet may declare, 
That the wise should place reliance 
On the efforts of thy science 

To diminish human care. 

Bring thy hidden truths to daylight, 
And I'll ne'er complain of thee. 

Dull thou'rt call'd and duluess cumbers ; 

Yet there's wisdom in thy numbers ; 
Leave my numbers unto me. 

Each of us fulfils a duty, 

And, though scorn'd, I'll cling to mine, 
With a passion ever growing, 
In my heart, to overflowing ; 

Cling thou with as much to thine. 

Thou'rt a preacher; I'm a prophet. 

Thou discoursest to thy time ; 
/ discourse to generations, 
And the thoughts of unborn nations 

Shall be fasnion'd by my rhyme. 

Thou, to dubious politicians, 

Staid and passionless and slow, 
Givest pros and cons with candour, 
Bland and patient, ever blander 
As thy trim deductions flow. 

/ send forth electric flashes 

To the bosom of the crowd ; 
Rule its pulses, cheer its sadness, 
Make it throb and pant with gladness, 
Till it answers me aloud. 

Not for me to linger idly, 

Gathering garlands by the way ; 
Singing but of flowers and sunsets, 
Lovers' vows, or nightly onsets, 
Or of ladies fair as May. 

No ; the poet loves his calling ; 
Nature's lyre is all his own ; 



He can sweep its strings prophetic, 
Till the nations, sympathetic, 

Gather breathless to its tone. 
For he knows the PEOPLE listen 

When a mighty spirit speaks, 
And that none can stir them duly 
But the man who loves them truly, 

And from them his impulse seeks 
What they feel, but cannot utter ; 

What they hope for. day and night; 
These the words by which he fires them, 
Prompts them, leads them, and inspires 
them 

To do battle for the right, 
These the words by which the many 

Cope for justice with the few ; 
TJiese their watch words, when Oppression 
Would resist the small concession, 

But a fraction of their due. 
These the poet, music-hearted. 

Blazons to the listening land, 
And for these all lands shall prize him, 
Though the foolish may despise him, 

Or the wise misunderstand. 
Go thy way, then, man of logic, 

In thy fashion, speak thy truth ; 
Thou hast fix'd, and I have chosen ; 
Thou slialt speak to blood that's frozen, 

I to vigour and to youth. 

Haply we shall both be useful. 

And, perchance, more useful thou, 
If their full degree of merit 
To all other moods of spirit 

Thou wilt cheerfully allow. 
As for me, I fear no scorning, 

And shall speak with earnest mind 
What is in me ; self -rewarded 
If I aid, though unregarded, 

The advancement of my kind. 



TO A FRIEND AFRAID OF CRITICS. 

AERAID of critics ! an unworthy fear : 

Great minds must learn their greatness and be bold. 

Walk on thy way; bring forth thine own true thought: 

Love thy high calling only for itself, 

And find in working recompense for work, 

And Envy's shaft shall whizz at thee in vain. 



TO A FRIEND AFRAID OF CRITICS. 219 

Despise not censure ; weigh if it be just ; 

And if it be amend, whatever the thought 

Of him who cast it. Take the wise man's praise, 

And love thyself the more that thou couldst earn 

Meed so exalted ; but the blame of fools, 

Let it bloAv over like an idle whiff 

Of poisonous tobacco in the streets, 

Invasive of thy unoffending nose : 

Their praise no better, only more perfumed. 

The Critics let me paint them as they are. 
Rome few I know, and love them from my soul ; 
Polish'd, acute, deep read ; of inborn taste 
Cultured into a virtue ; full of pith 
And kindly vigour, having won their spurs 
In the great rivalry of friendly mind, 
And generous to others, though unknown, 
\Vho would, having a thought, let all men know 
The new discovery. But these are rare ; 
And if thou find one, take him to thy heart, 
And think his unbought praise both palm and crown, 
A thing worth living for, were nought beside. 
Fear thou no critic, if thou'rt true thyself ; 
And look for fame now if the wise approve, 
Or from a wiser jury yet unborn. 
The Poetaster may be harm'd enough, 
But Criticasters cannot crush a Bard. 

If to be famous be thy sole intent, 
And greatness be a mark beyond thy reach, 
Manage the critics, and thoult win the game ; 
Invite them to thy board, and give them feasts, 
And foster them with unrelaxing care ; 
And they will praise thee in their partial sheets, 
And quite ignore the worth of better men. 
But if thou wilt not court them,, let them go, 
And scorn the praise that sells itself for wine, 
Or tacks itself upon success alone, 
Hanging like spittle on a rich man's beard. 

One, if thou'rt great, will cite from thy new book 
The tamest passage, something that thy soul 
Revolts at, now the inspiration's o'er, 
And would give all thou hast to blot from print 
And sink into oblivion ; and will vaunt 
The thing as beautiful, transcendent, rare 
The best thing thou hast done ! Another friend, 
With finer sense, will praise thy greatest thought, 
Yet cavil at it ; putting in his '* buts ' 
And * yets,' and little obvious hints, 
That though 'tis good, the critic could have made 
A work superior in its every part. 

Another, hi a pert and savage mood, 
Without a reason, will condemn thee 



220 VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 

And strive to quench thee in a paragraph. 

Another, with dishonest waggery, 

Will twist, misquote, aud utterly pervert 

Thy thoughts and words ; and hug himself meanwhile 

In the delusion, pleasant to his soul, 

That thou art crush'd, and he a gentleman. 

Another, with a specious fair pretence, 
Immaculately wise, will skim thy book, 
And self -sufficient, from his desk look down 
With undisguised contempt on thee and thine ; 
And sneer and snarl thee, from his weekly court, 
From an idea, spawn of his conceit, 
That the best means to gam a great renown 
For wisdom is to sneer at all the world, 
With strong denial that a good exists ; 
That all is bad, imperfect, feeble, stale, 
Except this critic, who outshines mankind. 

Another, with a foolish zeal, will prate 
Of thy great excellence, and on thy liead 
Heap epithet on epithet of praise 
In terms preposterous, that thou wilt blush 
To be so smotherM with such fulsome lies. 
Another, calmer, with Laudations thin, 
Unsavoury and weak, will make it seem 
That his good-nature, not thy merit, prompts 
The baseless adulation of his pen. 
Another, with a bull-dog's bark, will bay 
Foul names against thee for some fancied slight 
Which thou ne'er dream'dst of, and will damn thy work 
For spite against the worker ; while the next, 
Who thinks thy faith or politics a crime, 
Will bray displeasure from his monthly stall, 
And prove thee dunce, that disagreest with him. 

And, last of all, some solemn sage, whose nod 
Trimestral awes a world of little wits, 
Will carefully avoid to name thy name, 
Although thy words are in the mouths of men, 
And thy ideas in their inmost hearts, 
Moulding events, and fashioning thy Time 
To nobler efforts. Little matters it ! 
Whate'er thou art, thy value will appear. 
If thou art bad, no praise will buoy thee up ; 
If thou art good, no censure weidi thee down, 
Nor silence nor neglect prevent thy Fame. 
So fear not thou the critics ! Speak thy thought ; 
And, if thou'rt worthy, in the people's love 
Thy name shall live, while lasts thy mother tongue ! 



FREEDOM. 



221 



fore, 



BRITISH FREEDOM. 1848. 



WE want no flag, no flaunting rag, 

For LIBERTY to fight ; 
We want no blaze of murderous guns, 

To struggle for the right. 
Our spears and swords are printed words 

The mind our battle-plain ; 
We've won such victories befc 

And so we shall again. 

ii. 

We love no triumphs sprung of force 

They stain her brightest cause : 
'Tis not in blood that Liberty 

Inscribes her civic laws. 
She writes them on the people's heart 

In language clear and plain ; 
True thoughts have moved the world 
before, 

And so they shall again. 

in. 

We yield to none in earnest love 

Of Freedom's cause sublime ; 
We ioin the cry, ' FRATERNITY ! ' 

We keep the march of Time. 
And yet we grasp nor pike nor spear, 

Our victories to obtain ; 
We've won without their aid before, 

And so ice shall again. 

IV. 

We want no aid of barricade 

To show a front to wrong; 
We have a citadel in truth, 

More durable and strong. 
Calm words, great thoughts, unflinching 
faith, 

Have never striv'n in vain ; 
They've won our battles many a time, 

And so they shall again. 

v. 

Peace, Progress, Knowledge, Brother- 
hood 

The ignorant may sneer, 
The bad deny ; but we rely 

To see their triumph near. 
No widows' groans shall load our cause, 

Nor blood of brethren stain ; 
We've won without such aid before, 

And so we shall again. 



FREEDOM AND LAW. 

WILDEST wind that shakes the blossoms, 
Or on ocean chafes and swells, 

Blows not uncontroll'd and wanton, 
But as LAW compels. 

Streams that wander and meander, 
Loitering in the meads to play, 

Or that burst in roaring torrents 
Into foam and spray ; 

Avalanches, forest-crushing, 

Fires that rage in Etna's breast, 
Lava-floods and tides of ocean 

All obey the same behest. 
Law releases, Law restrains them : 

Lo ! the Moon, her forehead bent 
Earthward, makes her revolutions, 

Docile, beauteous, and content. 
Lo ! the Earth, her mighty mistress, 

In her own appointed place, 
Yields, like her, sublime obedience 

To the Law that governs Space. 

And the godlike Sun, exhaling 

Light and Life from every pore, 
On his axis, law-directed, 

Wheels majestic evermore; 
Bearing with him to Orion 

All the worlds that round him shine, 
To complete the awful cycle 

Of a destiny divine. 

While the Stars and Constellations, 

Glowing in eternal light, 
Teach the Majesty of Order, 

And that LAW is Infinite. 

Is the immortal spirit freer, 
Mated with its mortal clod ? 

Lo ! it soars, and, faith-supported, 
Claims affinity with God. 

Proudly it disdains the shackles 
Of the frame to which it clings. 

And would fly to heights celestial 
Upon Love's angelic wings. 

3ut the hand of LAW restrains it ; 

Narrow is the widest span, 
Measured by the deeds or efforts 

Of the aspiring soul of man. 

Like the imprison'd lark, that carols 
To salute the dawning day, 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



It can see the sky, and gather 
Hope and rapture from its ray. 

It can see the waving branches 
Of its long-lost happy bowers ; 

It can feel the heavenly breezes, 
And the scent of meadow flowers. 

But if it would strive to reach them, 
It is doom'd to fruitless pain, 

And with bleeding bosom struggles 
At its prison-doors in vain. 

If the mind be less entrammeird, 
And is freed from sensual bound ; 

Still the LAW restrains and moulds it, 
And attracts it to the ground. 

Like the young rejoicing eaglet. 

Knowing nought of gyves and bars, 
It may imp its virgin pinions 

By a flight towards the stars ; 
High above the sterile Andes, 

Or the Himalayan snow, 
Breasting ether, robed in sunlight, 

Unimpeded it may go. 

But a Law has placed its limits, 
And to pass them should it dare, 

Numbness falls upon its pinions, 
Death o'ercanopies the air. 

Such thy fate, terrestrial Spirit ! 
Such thy freedom ; thou mayst soar 

To the empyrean summits, 
Where no mortal breathed before. 



But Infinitude surrounds thee ; 

Nature stays thee in thy flight ; 
Thou must turn thee, or be stricken 

Powerless on thy topmost height. 

Thou must travel lower, lower. 
Nearer to the earthly mould 

Safer for thee there to fashion 
New ideas out of old. 

There to judge of the unfathom'd, 
By the things within thy ken, 

Of the ways of God Eternal 
By the futile ways of men. 

Yet, Soul ! there's Freedom for thee; 

Thou mayst win it ; not below ; 
Not on earth with mortal vesture, 

Where to love, to feel, to know, 

Is to suffer ; but unfettered, 
Thou mayst spring to riper life, 

Purified from Hate and Evil, 
And Mortality and Strife. 

Death is gaoler ; he'll release thee ; 

Through his portals thou shalt see 
The perfection that awaits thee> 

If thou'rt worthy to be free. 

Be thou meek, to exaltation ; 
Death shall give thee wings to soar; 

Loving God, and knowing all things, 
Upwards springing evermore ! 



AN INVOCATION IN AID OF A GREAT CAUSE. 



COME forth from the valley, come forth from the hill, 
Come forth from the workshop, the mine, and the mill, 
From pleasure or slumber, from study or play, 
Come forth in your myriads to aid us to-oav : 
There's a word to be spoken, a deed to be done, 
A truth to be attend, a cause to be won. 
Come forth in your myriads ! come forth every one ! 

IT. 

Come, youths, hi your vigour ; come, men, in your prime ; 
Come, age, with experience fresh gather'd from time ; 
Come, workers ! you're welcome ; come, thinkers, you must 
Come thick as the clouds in the midsummer dust, 
Or the waves of the sea gleaming bright in the sun ! 
There's a truth to be told, and a cause to be won 
Come forth in your myriads, come forth every one ! 



THE YOUNG MEN'S PETITION. 



THE YOUNG MEN'S PETITION 
TO THEIR EMPLOYERS. 

(WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OP THE 

FRIENDS OF THE EARLY CLOSING 

MOVEMENT AT IPSWICH.) 

I. 

WE form no vain capricious wish, 

No idle words deliver, 
The boon we want is small to grant, 

A trifle to the giver ; 
But great to us as health and strength. 

And sweet as virtuous pleasure 
A little time at evening chime, 

An hour or two of leisure. 

n. 
We ask it not that me may throw 

A burden on a neighbour, 
Nor seek it coward-like to shirk 

Our share of honest labour ; 
We feel and cherish the belief, 

That were the gift accorded, 
We'd work with double energy, 

And earn it ere afforded. 

in. 
Nor do we crave those evening hours 

For idle dissipation, 
For lure of vice, for cards or dice, 

Or worthless conversation. 
We wish to breathe the breath of 
heaven, 

When summer airs invite us, 
Or read in wintry nights the books 

That teach us and delight us. 

IV. 

Not that this new-born work of mind 

Our work of hand shall fetter ; 
; Tis wise ambition to aspire 

From good tlungs to the better. 
Not that we'll soar above the shop, 

Or scorn our means of living, 
Though life has something else to give 

As greatly worth the giving. 

v. 

Oh, no ! we'll not neglect the round 

Of still recurring duty, 
But see and love in leisure gaiu'd 

The charm of moral beauty. 



And Hope shall make us better men ; 
Be you the impartial judges, 

And watch us grow in self-respect 
In ceasing to bo drudges. 

VI. 

Grant, then, the boon the gain to us 

Will make you none the poorer ; 
Free service profits more than slave 

Its gratitude is surer. 
The ten hours' toil of thankful hearts 

Is better worth receiving, 
Than toil of ten and five, enforced 

Mid discontent and grieving. 

VII. 

That we may know the sympathies 

Mid ceaseless toil denied us ; 
That we may taste the mental stores 

Which books and men provide us ; 
That we may share the boundless wealth 

Of intellectual pleasure 
Give us, we pray, at close of day, 

An hour or two of leisure. 



So may your wealth, from year to year, 

Increase like corn-fields growing : 
So may your cup of mortal joy 

Be full to overflowing ; 
So never may compunctious throb 

Disturb your contemplation, 
That you refused your fellow-men 

The chance of Education. 



THE PRAYER OF THE 
MAMMONITES. 

Six days we give thee heart and brain ; 
"n grief or pleasure, joy or pain, 
Phou art our guide, god of Gam ! 

And on the seventh, although we kneel 

4.t other altars, and conceal, 

?OF fashion's sake, the love we feel ; 

Tis but our outward looks that pray; 
3ur inward thoughts are far away, 
A.nd give thee homage night and day. 

Chough often at a purer shrine 
Our thoughts and actions disincline, 
We're never hypocrites at thine. 



224 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



Oh, no ! we love thee far too well, 
More than our words can ever tell, 
With passion indestructible. 

When thou art kind, all Earth is fair, 
Men's eyes incessant homage glare, 
Then- tongues perennial flatteries bear. 

But when thou frownest, all men frown ; 
We dwell among the stricken-down, 
The scum and by-word of the town. 

Though we are good, and wise and true, 
Deprived of thee, men look askew : 
We have no merit in their view. 

Though we have wit and eloquence, 
The world denies us common sense, 
If thou no golden shower dispense. 

But mean, bad, stupid, all the three- 
It matters not whate'er we be, 
We have all Virtue, having thee. 



Men hold us in their hearts enshrined, 
To all our faults their eyes are blind, 
We are the salt of humankind. 

If we are old, they call us young ; 
And if we speak with foolish tongue, 
The praises of our wit are sung. 

If we are ugly, gold can buy 
Charms to adorn us in the eye 
Of universal flattery. 

If we are crooked, we grow straight 
If lame, we have Apollo's gait, 
Seen in thy light, Potentate! 
Shine on us, Mammon, evermore - 
Send us increase of golden store 
That we may worship and adore ; 

And that by look, and voice, and pen 

We may be glorified of men, 

And praise thy name. Amen I Amen ! 



A VISIT TO BEDLAM. 

I WALK'D through Bedlam with an aching heart, 
And gazing on its poor inhabitants 
I learn'd a lesson of humility. 

Some, vacant-eyed, full-faced, and blubber-lipp'd, 
Sat on the ground, their chins upon their laps ; 
And cuddled with close arms their firm-set knees. 
One gray-hair'd man paced slowly to and fro, 
And squared his fists at the careering clouds ; 
And mutter/d to hirnSelf as if he talk'd 
With grinning demons, whom he long'd to strike, 
Scowling upon him from the upper air. 
Some wander'd up and down with lazy gait, 
And a perpetual smile upon their lips, 
In ill accordance with their ashy eyes- 
Dull as the embers of a faded fire. 
Others, with restless march and flashing face, 
Or a convulsive twitching of the jaws, 
Counted their steps across the dreary yard, 
Or held fierce converse with ideal foes 

One man, however, with a placid smile, 
And words and gestures full of courtesy, 
Begg'd me to listen to a scheme he had. 
' I am,' said he, ' no madman, though I'm here. 
Survey me well : do I look like a fool ? 
Is any idiotcy in these bright eyes ? 



A VISIT TO BEDLAM. 

I pray you listen. Are you good and kind, 

And will you give or lend me sixpence, sir ? 

I thought you would, you are a gentlenian ! 

Now, let me see. One penny for a quill, 

One penny for some ink, and fourpence more 

For paper ; that makes sixpence, does it not ? 

You see that my arithmetic is right 

Best of all proofs of perfect sanity ! 

My greatest- misery in this sad place 

Is want of paper to write down my thoughts ; 

You have supplied my need and with your gift 

I shall not envy any man on earth. 

Thank you, again ! And now I will disclose 

The plan I've dream'd of to reform the world. 

Like all great schemes it has but little in't, 

So simple is it, that you'll doubtless smile 

At men's stupidity, who till this day 

Never discover'd it, though 'tis as clear 

As any theorem in Euclid's book. 

It stares them in the face by night and day, 

And yet they cannot see its aptitude 

To cure all mortal evils. You'll allow 

That eating is the greatest curse w of life, 

The cause of death, the quintessence of sin ? 

Our mother Eve was caution'd not to eat ; 

Heaven's only law was, ' Eat thou not at all/ 

But Eve was foolish, and the Devil sly; 

He knew her weakness steaks and mutton-chops 

>rang from that apple, as effect from cause ! 



She ate, and straightway sorrow, pain, and death, 
Rush'd like a torrent, and laid waste the world ! 

' Man wants no food. The rich and genial air 
Is fill'd with all the nutriment he needs. 
The abundant air the abundant water pure, 
Are quite sufficient for his health and strength ; 
All coarser food is but the source of death ! 
Were these alone his diet every day. 
There would be, clearly, no more robberies ; 
No murders for the sake of paltry gold 
(Gold, only precious for the sake of food), 
No judges, juries, hangmen, barristers, 
No proctors, no attoruies, no police ! 
No toil would wear the flesh and bones of men, 
At most unwholesome work for scanty pay ; 
And as for beggary, why, who would beg, 
"When the free air would yield him nourishment ? 
The beggar would be wealthy as a king, 
The beggar's brat as happy as a bird 
That sings its love-song hi the light of morn. 
Physicians, poison-mongers, all that tribe, 
Might shut up shop ; there would be no disease 
To try the skill of ' vile apothecaries.' 
15 



226 VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 

'Tis eating breeds all evil in our flesh, 
Ill-feeling, jealousies, revenge, and hate, 
Gout, apoplexy, palsy, fever, pest ! 
Oh, what a fair and heavenly world is spoil d, 
By this coarse madness of unhappy men ! ' 

' Are you quite sure/ I said, ' that you, yourself, 
Could live on air ? Your scheme, in theory, 
Is quite complete but how would practice work ? ' 

I Most admirably well it could not fail/ 
He answer'd promptly, with a kindling eye. 
' It might, perhaps, be difficult at first, 
But if men earnestly desired reform, 
Success would crown their efforts, soon or late. 
The guilty and degraded man, who drinks 
Too deep of alcohol, is slow to learn 

The blessedness of water from the brook ; 
But he can learn it, if his will be strong. 
So of this other vice ; there needs but time 
To make men angels. Oh, benighted men ! 
Slaves of your bellies ! helots of your teeth ! ' 

' Ah, yes ! the teeth ! ' said I. ' The teeth ! ' said he ; 

I 1 know your argument ! I feel your sneer : 
Teeth are for ornament, and not for use. 
What is the use of hair upon the head, 
Beard on the chin, or whiskers on the jaws ? 
Or the two nipples on the breasts of men ?' 
Lest further speech should weaken the effect 
Of this last climax of his argument, 

He shook me by the hand and went away, 
His features glowing with benevolence, 
And all his frame pervaded with liis joy. 

I sigh'd and smiled and then went wandering on, 
Musing upon this dreamer, till I heard 
A sudden voice, as if a woman spake 
In angry majesty and stern command. 
I stopp d and look'd, and in a darksome cell, 
Crouch'd In a corner on a heap of straw, 
I saw a creature, at whose aspect bare 
A freezing shudder ran through all my veins. 
The large round head, unfeiniuiue, was cropp'd, 
And the short hair, like stubble in a field, 
Stood perpendicular ; her face was thin 
And yellow-brown, her eyes were fiery bright, 
And glared upon me with a fiendish scowl ; 
Her only garment was a long loose robe 
Of coarse blue cloth, tied round her with a cord ; 
Her large-vein'd feet were bare upon the floor, 
Her arms were naked to the Bhoumer-pits, 
And in her hand she held a broken straw. 
* Begone ! ; she said ; ' but if you will not go, 
Come in respectfully; take off your shoes, 



A VISIT TO BEDLAM. 

Go down upon your kiiees ; do you not see 
That you are treading on my tapestries ? 
Are you so blind that you are not aware 
You stand in presence of the Queen of Grief ? 

Rising before me as she spoke, I saw 
A tall strong woman, old in wretchedness 
But not in years, with pale and skinny hands, 
And face so full of tragic earnestness 
It haunts me yet a creature of the mind, 
Familiar to me as a pain endured. 
The keeper shut the door and lock'd her in. 
* Our worst case/ said the man ; ' a hopeless case. 
What made her mad I know not. She is calm 
When no one looks at her. Left to herself, 
She sings, and talks, and gives commands all day 
To Dukes and Lords, Gold-sticks and Chamberlains. 

I look'd no more, I had beheld enough 
Of madness and of wretchedness ; but still 
With deep humility and gratitude, 
Whilst breathing to myself the people's prayer 
' God save our senses/ I confess'd with awe 
The wondrous mercy governing the world. 
Madness is horrible : but who shall tell 
If madness be a misery to the mad ? 
The back is fitted for the load it bears, 
And ev'n in madness, Fate's equivalents 
May make amends for blessed reason lost. 
The poor philosopher, brimful of schemes, 
Bless d with a sixpence and a listener, 
Was happier than I, that pitied him : 
And the narsh hag, whose very sight made creep 
The flesh upon my bones, had golden dreams 
Of wealth, dominion, majesty, and power. 

Great is the doctrine of equivalents ; 
Mighty and universal is the law 
Of Compensation, If we lose we gain, 
And if we gain we lose. So rolls the world. 
The hand of Justice holds th' eternal scale. 
If we are happy in the world's esteem, 
Perchance we have a secret sore within. 
If great, we may behold a skeleton 
Taking its place behind us at the board, 
To give us warning what the end shall be ; 
If we are mean, we have a comforter 
In the conviction, that we cannot fall 
Beneath the lowest depth at which we lie. 
If we are sane, we^feel our sanity 
In care, and sorrow, and perennial toil. 
If we are mad, just Heaven looks pitying down, 
And sends us dreams that shame realities. 



228 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



YOU AND I. 

i. 

WHO would scorn his humble fellow 

For the coat he wears ? 
For the poverty he suffers? 

For his daily cares ? 
Who would pass him in the footway 

With averted eye 1 

Would you, brother? No you would 
not. 

If you would not /. 

IT. 
Who, when vice or crime, repentant, 

With a grief sincere 
Ask'd for pardon, would refuse it 

More than Heaven severe ? 
Who to erring woman's sorrow 

Would with taunts reply ? 
Would you, brother? Ho you would 
not. 

If you would not /. 

in. 

Who would say that all who differ 

From his sect must be 
Wicked sinners, heaven-rejected, 

Sunk in Error's sea, 
And consign them to perdition 

With a holy sigh 'I 

Would you, brother? No you would 
not. 

If you would not 7. 

IV. 

Who would say that six days' cheating, 

In the shop or mart, 
Might be rubb d by Sunday praying 

From the tainted heart, 
If the Sunday face were solemn 

And the credit high? 
Would you, brother? No you would 
not. 

If you would not /. 

v. 

Who would say that Vice is Virtue 

In a hall of state ? 
Or that rogues are not dishonest 

If they dine off plate? 
Who would say Success and Merit 

Ne'er part company ? 



Would you, brother ? No you would 

not. 
If you would not /. 

VI. 

Who would give a cause his efforts 

When the cause was strong, 
But desert it on its failure, 

Whether right or wrong ? 
Ever siding with the upmost, 

Letting downmost lie? 
Would you, brother? No you would 
not. 

If you would not /. 

VII. 

Who would lend his arm to strengthen 

Warfare with the Right? 
Who would give his pen to blacken 

Freedom's page of light ? 
Who would lend his tongue to utter 

Praise of tyranny ? 

Would you, brother? No you would 
not. 

If you would not /. 



'BOWING DOWN.' 

A PORTRAIT TAKEJf IN PALL MALL. 



THERE came a lad to London town, 
Bowing down, bowing down; 

He had nor principle nor pence, 

But cunning, wit, and eloquence ; 

He loug'd for power, he long'd for pelf, 

He had a foiia love for himself. 

How were his ends to be achieved ? 

He look'd around him and perceived, 
That bowing down, bowing down, 

Was the way to rise in London town. 

ii. 
He lost no time in vain debate, 

Bowing down, bowing down. 
He clung to men of high estate, 
He was a toady to the great ; 
He had a loud laugh in his poke, 
Whene'er his patron made a joke 
A servile tongue, a fawning eye, 
And a beautiful humility ; 

For bowing down, bowing down, 
Was the way to rise in London town, 



THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL LYING. 



229 



in. 

And he could write as well as speak, 
Bowing down, bowing down: 

Whene'er there was a spite to wreak, 

Or foe to crush iu a critique, 

A flaw or error to defend, 

His pen was ready for his friend ; 

Though for these tasks, we may be sure, 

He had no friends among the poor ; 
For bo whig down, bowing down, 

Was the way to rise in London town. 

IV. 

He was not proud oh, not at all ! 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
He'd play the ready menial, 
And fetch or carry, stand or fall ; 
He'd dance or sing, or preach or jest, 
Or give his talk a ribald zest ; 
He felt no qualms could he but hit 
His patron's humour or his wit ; 

For bowing down, bowing down, 
Was the way to rise in London town. 

v. 
And not alone by word or pen, 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
Was he of use to powerful men ; 
He knew the hour, the where, the when, 
To pander to each quiet vice 
He was too needy to be nice ; 
But what he did we need not tell, 
Our silence shows it just as well ; 

For bowing down, bowing down* 
Was the way to rise in London town. 

VI. 

He was successful in his aim, 

Bowing down, bowing down; 
Achieved position and a name, 
And gathering gold to gild his fame, 
Aspired to give the nation laws, 
Quite certain of his own applause. 
He found a borough to his mind, 
His patron lord was more than kind : 

For bowing down, bowing doicn, 
Was the way to rise in London town. 

VII. 

And now a mighty man is he, 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
And for his own servility, 
He'd take revenge on thee and me. 
His menials lead the life of slaves, 
He thinks all human creatures knaves. 



And those who need him blush to feel 
; Tis vain to sue unless they kneel ; 

And that bowing down, bowing down, 
Is the way to rise in London town. 

VIII. 

There is this lesson in his fate, 
Bowing down, bowing down, 
That all who know him scorn or hate, 
And that, though rich, he's desolate. 
We will not hate him, will not scorn, 
We'll rather pity the forlorn, 
And doubt the truth before our eyes, 
Affirm'd by all the worldly wise, 

That bowing down, bowing doivn, 
Is the way to rise in London town. 



THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL 
LYING. 



BUILD a lie yes, build a lie, 
A large one be not over tender ; 
Give it a form, and raise it high, 
That all the world may see its splen- 
dour; 

Then launch it like a mighty ship 
On the restless sea of men's opinion, 
And the ship shall sail before the gale 
Endued with motion and dominion. 

ii. 

Though storms may batter it evermore, 
Though angry lightnings flash around it, 
Though whirlwinds rave, and whirlpools 

roar, 

To overwhelm and to confound it, 
The ship shall ride, all wrath of time 
And hostile elements defying : 
The winds of Truth are doubtless strong, 
But great's the buoyancy of lying. 

in. 

And though the ship grow old at last, 
Leaky, and water-loggM, and crazy, 
Yet still the hulk endures the blast, 
And fears no weather, rough or hazy ; 
For should she sink, she'll rise again, 
No strength her rotten planks shall 

sever : 

3ive her but size, and the worst of lies 
May float about the world for ever. 



230 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



THE POOR MAN'S RICHES. 

i. 

POOR ! did you call me ? 

My wants are but few, 
And generous Nature 

Gives more than my due ; 
The air and the sunshine, 

Fresh water and health, 
And heart to enjoy them 

All these are my wealth. 

ii. 
No close-handed miser, 

That e'er had a hoard, 
Could reckon such treasure 

As I can afford : 
The woods in their verdure, 

The streams in their flow, 
Are mine in their beauty 

Wherever I go. 
in. 
My wealth is substantial, 

Although in the mart 
I cannot convey it, 

In whole or in part ; 
Yet, if I enjoy it, 

What signifies more ? 
I'm lord of the ocean ; 

I'm king of the shore ! 

IV. 

Wealth could procure me 

But pleasure and ease : 
I've both in my garden 

Beneath the green trees ; 
I've both in my cottage, 

My fancies to feed ; 
I've both in my conscience, 

What more do I need ? 

v. 
The joys that delight me 

Are free as my thought ; 
They're common as sunshine 

And cannot be bought. 
I've servants and minstrels, 

And boundless domains ; 
I've rivers and mountains, 

And forests and plains. 

VI. 

The robin's my minstrel, 
My friend, and my ward ; 



The lark is my poet, 
The thrush is my bard. 

No great prima donna, 
The pride of her hour, 

Can yield me more music 
Than birds in the bower. 

VII. 

The rich and the mighty 

Have chaplains in pay ; 
And I, too, have chaplains 

As pious as they, 
Who preach to my spirit 

As with them I bend 
To God the Creator, 

My Father and Friend. 

VIII. 

In whispering foliage 

They soothe and persuade ; 
They sing in the sunlight, 

They talk in the shade ; 
I hear them in tempests, 

I see them in cloud 
In the voice of the thunder 

They reason aloud. 

IX. 

Though gold has its friendships 

That cling to it well, 
Acquaintance and lovers 

Too many to tell; 
Yet I, too, by myriads 

Have friends of my own, 
Who pay me sweet visits 

When I am alone. 

x. 
All saints and apostles, 

All prophets divine, 
All sages and poets, 

Are teachers of mine ; 
My friends and my teachers, 

Wherever I roam, 
The guides of my spirit, 

The lights of my home. 

XI. 

And crown of all riches, 

Far better than pelf, 
I've a true heart that loves me 

For sake of myself. 
With these, and my patience, 

And strength to endure, 
My health and my honour, 

How can I be poor ? 



A QUESTION ANSWERED. 



231 



THE FLOATING STRAW. 

A THOUGHT IN COMMERCIAL PANIC. 
I. 

THE wild waves are my nightly pillows, 

Beneath me roll the Atlantic billows ; 

And as I rest on my couch of brine, 

I watch the eternal planets shine. 

Ever I ride 

On a harmless tide, 

Fearing nought enjoying all things 

Undisturb'd by great or small things. 

ii. 

Alas ! for the lordly vessel 
That sails so gallantly ! 
The winds may dash it ; 
The storms may wash it, 
The lightnings rend its tall masts three ; 
But neither the wind, nor the rain, nor the sea, 
Can injure me can injure me ! 
The lightnings cannot strike me down, 
Whirlwinds wreck, or whirlpools drown ; 
And the ship to be lost ere the break of Morn, 
May pass o'er my head hi saucy scorn ; 
And when the Night unveils its face, 
I may float, unharm'd, in my usual place, 
And the ship may show to the pitying stars 
No remnant but her broken spars. 

in. 

Among the shells 
In the ocean dells 

The ships, the crews, and the captains lie ; 
But the floating straw looks up to the sky. 
And the humble and contented man, 
Unknown to Fortune, escapes her ban, 
And rides secure when breakers leap, 
And mighty ships go down to the deep. 

IV. 

May pleasant breezes waft them home 
That plough with their keels the driving foam ! 
Heaven be their hope, and Truth their law ; 
There needs no prayer for the floating straw ! 



A QUESTION ANSWERED. 

WHAT to do to make thy fame 
Live beyond thee in the tomb ? 

And thine honourable name 
Shine, a star, through History's 
gloom ? 



Seize the Spirit of thy Time, m 
Take the measure of his height, 

Look into his eyes sublime, 
And imbue thee with their light. 

Know his words ere they are spoken, 
And with utterance loud and clear, 



232 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



Firm, persuasive, and unbroken, 
Breathe them in the people's ear. 

Think whate'er the Spirit thinks, 
Feel thyself whate'er he feels, 

Drink at fountains where he drinks, 
And reveal what he reveals. 

And v.-hate'er thy medium be. 
Canvas, stone, or printed sheet, 

Fiction, or philosophy, 
Or a ballad for the street ; 



Or, perchance, with passion fraught, 
Spoken words, like lightnings tnro 

Tell the people all thy thought, 
And the world shall be thii 



irown, 



be thine OAYU ! 



WHAT MIGHT BE DONE. 

WHAT might be done if men were wise 
What glorious deeds, my suffering 
brother, 

Would they unite, 
In Love and Right, 
And cease then- scorn for one another ? 

Oppression's heart might be imbued 
With kindling drops of loving-kind- 
ness, 

And Knowledge pour, 
From shore to shore, 
Light on the eyes of mental blindness. 

All Slavery, Warfare, Lies, and Wrongs, 
All Vice and Crime might die together; 

And wine and corn, 

To each man born, 
Be free as warmth in summer weather. 

The meanest wretch that ever trod, 
The deepest sunk in guilt and sorrow, 
Might stand erect, 
In self-respect, 

And share the teeming world to-mor- 
row. 

What might be done ? This might be 

done, 

And more than this, my suffering 
brother 

More than the tongue 
Ever said or sung, 
If men were wise and loved each other! 



SAID I TO MYSELF, SAID L 



I'M poor and quite unknown, 

I've neither fame nor rank ; 
My labour is all I own, 

I have no gold at the bank ; 
I'm one of the common crowd, 

Despised of the passers-by, 
Contenm'd of the rich and proud 

Said I to myself, said I. 

ii. 

I want, and I cannot obtain, 

The luxuries of the earth ; 
My raiment is scant and plain, 

And I live in the fear of dearth; 
While others can laugh or sing, 

I have ever some cause to sigh ; 
I'm a weary wauderling 

Said I to myself, said 7. 

in. 



But is this grieving just ? 

Is it wise to fret and wail ? 
Is it right, thou speck of dust, 

Thine envy should prevail ? 
Is it fitting thou shouldst close 

Thy sight to the sunny sky, 
And an utter dark suppose ? 

Said I to myself, said L 

IV. 

If poor, thou hast thy health ; 

If humble, thou art strong ; 
And the lark, that knows not wealth, 

Ever sings a happy song. 
The flowers rejoice in the air, 

And give thy needs the lie ; 
Thou'rt a fool to foster care, 

Said I to myself, said L 

v. 

If the wants of thy pride be great, 

The needs of thy health are small, 
And the world is the man's estate 

Who can wisely enjoy it all. 
For him is the landscape spread, 

For him do the breezes ply, 
For him is the day-beam shed 

Said I to myself, said L 



THOUGHTS. 



233 



VI. 

For him are the oceans roll'd, 

For him do the rivers run, 
For him doth the year unfold 

Her bounties to the sun; 
For him, if his heart be pure, 

Shall common things supply 
All pleasures that endure 

Said I to myself, said /. 

VII. 

For him each blade of grass 

Waves pleasure as it grows ; 
For him, as the light clouds pass, 

A spirit of beauty flows ; 
For him, as the streamlets leap, 

Or the winds on the tree-tops sigh, 
Comes a music sweet and deep 

Said I to myself, said I. 



VIII. 

Nor of earth are his joys alone, 

How mean soever his state 
On him from the starry zone 

His ministering angels wait ; 
With him in voiceless thought 

They hold communion high ; 
By them are his fancies fraught 

Said I to myself, said I. 

DC. 

I will mould my life afresh, 

I will circumscribe desire ; 
Farewell to ye, griefs of flesh ! 

And let my soul aspire. 
I will make my wishes few, 

That my joys may multiply; 
Adieu, false wants, adieu ! 

Said I to myseff, said L 



THOUGHTS. 

TRUE thoughts, your days of grief are done, 
No more shall scorn or hate impede you ; 
Born in the light, where'er the sun 
Shines on mankind, mankind shall heed you. 
So grow, ye grains of mustard-seed, 

Grow each into a tree ; 
And kindle, sparks, to beal-fires bright, 

That all the earth may see ; 
And spread, ye thoughts of Truth and Right, 
O'er all humanity ! 



Time was, when thoughts bore tears and death 
To the wise few that dared to raise them ; 
Time is, when thoughts are living breath, 
And the world's throbbing heart obeys them. 
So. grow, ye grains of mustard-seed, 

Grow each into a tree ; 
And kindle, sparks, to beal-fires bright, 

That all the earth may see ; 
And spread, ye workers for the Right, 
Onwards eternally ! 



234 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



CLEON AND I. 

i. 

CLEON hath ten thousand acres, 

Ne'er a one have I ; 
Cleon dvvelleth in a palace, 

In a cottage I ; 
Cleon hath a dozen fortunes, 

Not a penny I : 
Yet the poorer of the twain is 

Cleon, and not I. 

ii. 

Cleon, true, possesseth acres, 

But the landscape I ; 
Half the charms to me it yieldeth 

Money cannot buy ; 
Cleon harbours sloth and dulness, 

Freshening vigour I ; 
He in velvet, I in fustian 

Richer man am I. 



Cleon is a slave to grandeur, 

Free as thought am I ; 
Cleon fees a score of doctors, 

Need of none have I ; 
Wealth-surrounded, care-environ'd, 

Cleon fears to die ; 
Death may come he'll find me ready, 

Happier man am I, 

IV. 

Cleon sees no charms in Nature, 

In a daisy, I ; 
Cleon hears no anthems ringing 

'Twixt the sea and sky ; 
Nature sings to me for ever, 

Earnest listener I : 
State for state, with all attendants 

Who would change ? Not I. 



THE LITTLE MOLES. 



WHEN grasping tyranny offends, 

Or angry bigots frown, 
When rulers plot for selfish ends 

To keep the nations down, 
When statesmen form unholy league 

To drive the world to war, 
When knaves in palaces intrigue 

For ribbons or a star- 



We raise our heads, survey their deeds, 

And cheerily reply 
Grub, little moles, grub under ground, 

There? s sunshine in the sky. 

ii. 
When canting hypocrites combine 

To curb a tree man's thought, 
And hold all doctrine undivine 

That holds their canting nought, 
When round their narrow pale they plod 

And scornfully assume 
That all without are cursed of Godj 

And justify the doom, 
We think of God's eternal love, 

And strong in hope reply 
Grub, little moles, grub under ground, 

There's sunshine in the sky. 

in. 

When greedy authors wield the pen 

To please the vulgar town, 
Depict great thieves as injured men 

And heroes of renown ; 
Pander to prejudice unclean, 

Apologize for crime. 
And daub the vices of the mean 

\Yith Mattery like slime ; 
For MILTON'S craft, for SHAKSPEBE'S 
tongue, 

We blush, but yet reply 
Grub, little moles, grub under ground, 

There's sunshine in tlie sky. 

IV. 

When smug philosophers survey 

The various climes of earth, 
And mourn, poor sagelings of a day ! 

Its too prolific birth ; 
And prove by figure, rule, and plan, 

The large fair world too small 
To feed the multitudes of man 

That flourish on its ball : 
We view the vineyards on the hills, 

Or corn-fields waving high ; 
Grub, little moles, grub under ground. 

There's sunshine in the sky. 

v. 
When men complain of humankind, 

In misanthropic mood, 
And thinking evil things, grow blind 

To presence of the good ; 
When, walPd in prejudices strong, 

They urge that evermore 



ETERNAL JUSTICE 



235 



The world is felted to go wrong 

For going wrong before, 
We feel the truths they cannot feel, 

And smile as we reply, 
Grub, little moles, grub under ground, 

There's sunshine in the sky. 



LET US ALONE. 



MANY and yet our fate is one, 

And little after all we crave 
Enjoyment of the common sun, 

Fair passage to the common grave ; 
Our bread and fire, our plain attire, 

The free possession of our own. 
Rulers, be wise ! and kings and czars, 

Let us alone let us alone. 

ii. 

We have a faith, we have a law ; 

A faith in God, a hope in man ; 
And own, with reverence and awe, 

Love universal as His plan. 
To Charity we bow the knee, 

The earth's refiner and our own. 
Bigots, and fighters about words, 

Let us alone let us alone. 

in. 

The world is the abode of men, 

And not of demons stark and blind ; 
And Eden's self might bloom again, 

If men did justice to mankind. 
We want no more of Nature's store 

Than Nature meant to be our own. 
Masters and gerents of the earth, 

Let us alone let us alone. 

IV. 

Your meddling brought us grief and 
care, 

And added misery day by day ; 
We're not so foolish as we were, 

Nor fashion'd of such ductile clay ; 
Your petty jars, your wicked wars, 

Have lost their charm, the gilding's 

gone : 
Victorious marshals, vaulting kings, 

Let us alone let us alone. 



v. 

Thou dwellers in a little isle, 

We bear no hate to other lands, 
And think that Peace on earth might 
smile 

If we and others ioin'd our hands. 
In Reason's spite why should we fight ? 

We'll war no more we're wiser 

grown. 
Quibblers and stirrers up of hate, 

Let us alone let us alone. 

VI. 

White man or black, to us alike ; 

Foemen of no men we will live, 
We will not lift our hands to strike, 

Or evil for advantage give. 
Our hands are free to earn their fee, 

Our tongues to let the truth be 

known ; 
So despots, knaves, and foes of right, 

Let us alone let us alone. 

VII. 

Great are our destinies : our task, 

Long since begun, shall never end 
While suffering has a boon to ask, 

Or truth needs spokesmen to defend ; 
While vice or crime pollute the time, 

While nations bleed, or patriots 

groan. 
Rulers, be wise ! and meddling fools, 

Let us alone let us alone. 



ETERNAL JUSTICE. 

i. 

THE man is thought a knave, or fool, 

Or bigot, plotting crime, 
Who, for the advancement of his kind, 

Is wiser than his time. 
For him the hemlock shall distil ; 

From him the axe be bared ; 
For him the gibbet shall be built ; 

For him the stake prepared. 
Him shall the scorn and wrath of men 

Pursue with deadly aim ; 
And malice, envy, spite, and lies, 

Shall desecrate his name. 



236 



VOICES FROM THE CROWD. 



But Truth shall conquer at the last, 
For round and round we run ; 

And ever the Right conies uppermost, 
And ever is Justice done. 

ii. 

Pace through thy cell, old Socrates, 

Cheerily to and fro ; 
Trust to the impulse of thy soul, 

And let the poison flow. 
They may shatter to earth the lamp of 
clay 

That holds a light divine, 
But they cannot quench the fire of 
thought 

By any such deadly wine. 
They cannot blot thy spoken words 

From the memory of man 
By all the poison ever was brew'd 

Since time its course began. 
To-day abhorr'd, to-morrow adored, 

So round and round we run ; 
And ever the Truth comes uppermost, 

And ever is Justice done. 

xn. 

Plod in thy cave, gray anchorite ; 

Be wiser than thy peers ; 
Augment the range of human power, 

And trust to coming years. 
They may call thee wizard, and monk 
accursed, 

And load thee with dispraise ; 
Thou wert born five hundred years too 
soon 

For the comfort of thy days ; 
But not too soon for humankind. 

Time hath reward in store ; 
And the demons of our sires become 

The saints that we adore. 
The blind can see, the slave is lord, 

So round and round we run ; 



And ever the wrong is proved to be 

wrong, 
And ever is Justice done. 

IV. 

Keep, Galileo, to thy thought, 

And nerve thy soul to bear ; 
They may gloat o'er the senseless words 
they wring 

From the pangs of thy despair ; 
They mav veil their eyes, but they can- 
not hide 

The sun's meridian glow ; 
The heel of a priest may tread thee 
down, 

And a tyrant work thee woe ; 
But never a truth has been destrov'd : 

They may curse it and call it crime ; 
Pervert and betray, or slander and slay, 

Its teachers for a time ; 
But the sunshine aye shall light the sky, 

As round and round we run ; 
And the Truth shall ever come upper- 
most, 

And Justice shall be done. 

v. 
And live there now such men as these 

With thoughts like the great of old] 
Many have died in their misery, 

And left their thought untold ; 
And many live, and are rank'd as mad, 

And placed in the cold world's ban, 
For sending then- bright far-seeing souls 

Three centuries in the van. 
They toil in penury and grief, 

Unknown, if not malign'd ; 
Forlorn, forlorn, hearing the scorn 

Of the meanest of mankind ! 
But yet the world goes round and round, 

And the genial seasons run ; 
And ever the Truth comes uppermost, 

And ever is Justice done. 



LONDON LYRICS. 



WHAT 'BIG BEN 7 * SAID TO LONDON AT MIDNIGHT. 



I SAT by the open -window, 

And watch'd the lights on the stream, 
Flickering, floating, fleeting, 

Like fancies in a dream, 
And heard Big Ben from his belfry 

Lift up his voice sublime. 
And peal o'er the mighty city 

His sorrowful midnight chime. 

ir. 

And I thought as the tones were carried 

On the wild wind-currents down 
Over the sleeping, waking, weeping, 

Revelling, murderous town, 
That Ben to my ear confided 

The meaning of Ms song, 
With all its pity, all its warning, 

And all its hate of wrong. 

in. 

Perchance none listen'd but I. 

As he spoke to the thoughtless crowd, 
Telling it things to exalt the lowly, 

And lower the pride of the proud : 
Telling it things of Life and Death, 

With a boom that seem'd to pray. 
And mingle reproach with benediction, 

In a dirge for the dying day. 

IV. 

* OXE ! ' and the sound rang loud and 

clear, 
4 May Heaven her sin forgive her ! 

* The Great Bell in the Clock Tower, at the 
Houses of Parliament, Westminster. 



' She hath gone ! ' he saith, ' gone to her 

death 

In the hush of the rolling river. 
She hath fled from hunger, and scorn, 

and shame, 

And the town's polluting touch ; 
And though she hath sinn'd, look kindly 

on her. 
Hath she not suffer'd much ] ' 



v. 

'Two! THREE! and FOUR!' 'Ay, 
more and more, 

They sink into graves, forlorn ! 
The starving wretches who cumber the 
earth 

And weep that they were born. 
Some by razor, and some by rope, 

By swift or by slow decay ; 
And all go down to the pitying dust ; 

Out of the world, and the way ! ' 

VI. 

' Boom FIVE and Six ! ' ' Let the wicked 

rejoice, 

And worship their guilty gold ! 
Let the bright eyes glow ! let the wine 

cups flow ! 

Let the mirth be uncontroU'd ! 
To-day's their own. Let them alone ! 
The crime and the doom are one, 
And all comes right in the pale moon- 
light, 
If not in the glare of the sun/ 



238 



LONDON LYRICS. 



vii. 

* Ring SEVEN and EIGHT ! ' ' Oh ! sons 

of Fate, 

That wither, and pine, and die, 
Because Good Fortune knows you not, 

Or scorns as she passes by ; 
Give scorn for scorn ! The mind's the man. 

The soul, not the flesh, is first. 
And self-respect is a kingly crown, 

When Fortune does her worst.' 

VIII. 

* Ring NINE and TEN ! ' ' Oh ! women 

and men, 

That grovel, and creep, and crawl, 
Drinking and feeding, wedding and 

breeding, 

Think well if this be all ! 
Think of the heritage of the soul, 

Nor quench in low desire, 
The light of your higher nature 
And the spark of a heavenly fire. 

IX. 

' Ring out ELEVEN ! to Earth and 
Heaven ! ' 

' Hear it, ye brave and true ; 
Be brave, and true, and good to the end, 

Whatever the world may do. 
The tears you shed shall be healing balm, 

Your wounds shall make you strong, 
And the plaint of your lamentation 

Grow into heavenly song ! ' 

x. 

f Sound forth, oh solemn MIDNIGHT ! ' 

' Sleep, overwearied brain ! 
Sleep Innocence ! sleep Madness ! 

Sleep Misery and Pain ! 
In God's great loving-kindness, 

So broad, so high, so deep ! 
Nothing's more welcome, nothing's more 
lovely, 

Nothing's so good as sleep ! ' 

XI. 

Oh ! mournful Ben, in thy belfry lone 

Toning the Psalm of Life, 
Of the good and the bad, the merry, 
the sad, 

And the peace that follows strife. 
Thy voice is a voice in deserts, 

On the shores of the gloomy river; 
Time speaks in vain to the busy world 

For ever and for ever ! 



STREET COMPANIONS. 

YHENE'ER through Gray's Inn porch I 

stray, 

[ meet a spirit by the way, 
He wanders with me all alone, 
And talks with me in under-tone. 

The crowd is busy seeking gold, 
[t cannot see what I behold ; 
[ and the spirit pass along 
Unknown, unnoticed, in the throng. 

While on the grass the children run, 
And maids go loitering in the sun, 
[ roam beneath the ancient trees, 
And talk with him of mysteiies. 

The dull brick houses of the square, 
The bustle of the thoroughfare, 
The sounds, the sights, the crush of men, 
Are present but forgotten then. 

I see them, but I heed them not ; 
I hear, but silence clothes the spot ; 
All voices die upon my brain 
Except that spirit's in the lane. 

He breathes to me his burning thought, 
He utters words with wisdom fraught, 
He tells me truly what I am 
I walk with mighty Verulam. 

He goes with me through crowded ways, 
A friend and mentor in the maze, 
Through Chancery Lane to Lincoln's Inn. 
To Fleet Street, through the moil and 
din. 

I meet another spirit there, 
A blind old man with forehead fair, 
Who ever walks the right-hand side, 
Towards the fountain of St Bride. 

Amid the peal of jangling bells, 
Or people's roar that falls and swells, 
The whirl of wheels and tramp of steeds, 
He talks to me of noble deeds. 

I hear his voice above the crush, 
As to and fro the people rush ; 
Benign and calm upon his face 
Sits Melancholy, robed in grace 

He hath no need of common eyes, 
He sees the fields of Paradise ; 
He sees and pictures unto mine 
A gorgeous vision, most divine. 



THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW. 



239 



He tells the story of the Fall, 
He names the fiends in battle-call, 
And shows my soul, in wonder dumb, 
Heaven, Earth, and Pandemonium. 

He tells of Lycidas the good, 
And the sweet lady in the wood, 
And teaches wisdom high and holy, 
In mirth and heavenly melancholy. 

And oftentimes, with courage high, 
He raises Freedom's rallying cry ; 
And, ancient leader of the van, 
Asserts the dignity of man 

Asserts the right with trumpet tongue, 
That Justice from Oppression wrung, 
And poet, patriot, statesman, sage, 
Guides by nis own a future age. 

With such companions at my side 
I float on London's human tide ; 
An atom on its billows thrown, 
But lonely never, nor alone. 



THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW. 

LATE or early home returning, 
In the starlight or the rain, 
I beheld that lonely candle 
Shining from his window-pane. 
Ever o er his tatter'd curtain, 
Nightly looking, I could scan, 
Aye inditing. 
Writing writing, 
The pale figure of a man ; 
Still discern behind him fail 
The same shadow on the wall. 

Far beyond the murky midnight, 
By dim burning of my oil, 
Filling aye his rapid leaflets, 
I have w'atch'd him at his toil ; 
Watch'd his broad and seamy forehead, 
Watch'd his white industrious hand, 
Ever passing 
And repassing ; 

Watch'd and strove to understand 
What iinpell'd it gold, or fame- 
Bread, or bubble of a name. 

Oft I've ask'd, debating vainly 
In the silence of my mind, 
What the services he render'd 
To his country or his kind ; 



Whether tones of ancient music, 

Or the sound of modern gong, 

Wisdom holy, 

Humours lowly, 

Sermon, essay, novel, song, 

Or philosophy sublime, 

Fill'd the measure of his time. 

No one sought him, no one knew him, 

Undistinguish'd was his name : 

Never had his praise been utter'd 

By the oracles of fame. 

Scanty fare and decent raiment, 

Humble lodging, and a fire 

These he sought for, 

These he wrought for, 

And he gaiu'd his meek desire ; 

Teaching men by written word 

Clinging to a hope deferr'd. 

So he lived. At last I miss'd him ; 

Still might evening twilight fall, 

But no taper lit his lattice 

Lay no shadow on his wall. 

In the winter of his seasons, 

In the midnight of his day, 

'Mid his writing, 

And inditing, 

Death had beckon'd him away, 

Ere the sentence he had plann'd 

Found completion at his hand. 

But this man, so old and nameless, 
Left behind him projects large, 
Schemes of progress undeveloped, 
Worthy of a nation's charge ; 
Noble fancies uncompleted, 
Germs of beauty immatured, 
Only needing 
Kindly feeding 

To have flourish' d and endured ; 
Meet reward in golden store 
To have lived for evermore. 

Who shall tell what schemes majestic 

Perish in the active brain ? 

What humanity is robb'd of, 

Ne'er to be restored again ? ' 

What we lose, because we honour 

Overmuch the mighty dead, 

And dispirit 

Living merit, 

Heaping scorn upon its head ? 

Or perchance, when kinder grown, 

Leaving it to die alone ? 



240 



LONDON LYRICS. 



MARY AND LADY MARY; 



OR, 



NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOURS. 



THE Lady Mary's placid eyes 
Beam with no hopes, no memories ; 
Beneath their lids no tear-drops flow, 
For Love or Pity, Joy or Woe. 
She never knows, too stony she, 
The fruitfulness of sympathy ; _ 
She never weeps for others' pain, 
Or smiles, except in her disdain. 

ii. 

Her face is pallid as the pearl, 
Her hair is sleek, without a curl ; 
With finger-tip she condescends 
To touch the fingers of her friends, 
As if she fear'd their palms might brand 
Some moral stigma on her hand ; 
Her pulse is calm, milk-white her skin, 
She hath not heart enough to sin. 

in. 

A very pattern, sage and staid, 
Of all her sex a model maid ; 
Clear star bright paragon of men 
She breaks no law of all the ten ; 
Pure to the sight as snow-peak'd hill 
As inaccessible and chill ; 
In sunshine but repelling heat 
And freezing in her own conceit. 

IV. 

If ever known to breathe a sigh, 
It was for lack of flattery. 
Though cold, insensible, and dull, 
Admirers call her beautiful ; 
She sucks their incense, breathes it, dotes 
On her OAvn praise, that gently floats 
On Fashion's wave and lies in Avait 
To catch admirers of her state. 

v. 

In publish'd charities her name 
Stands foremost, for she buys her fame 
At church men see her thrice a week, 
In spirit proud, in aspect meek ; 
Wearing Devotion like a mask, 
So marble cold, that sinners ask, 
Beholding her at Mercy's throne, 
* Is this a woman or a stone ? ' 



VI. 

But different, far, the little maid, 
That dwells unnoticed in the shade 
Of Lady Mary's pomp and power ; 
A Mary, too, a simple flower, 
With face all health, with cheeks all 

smile, 

Undarken'd by one cloud of guile ;' 
And ruddy lips that seem to say, 
' Come, kiss me, children, while ye may.' 

VII. 

A cordial hand, a chubby arm, 
And hazel eyes, large, soft, and warm ; 
Dark hair in curls, a snow-like bust, 
A look all innocence and trust. 
Lit up at times by sunny mirtn, 
Like summer smiling on the earth ; 
A ringing laugh, whose every note 
Bursts in clear music from her throat 

VIII. 

A poet's daughter poor, perchance, 
But rich in native elegance ; 
God bless the maid she may not be 
Without some touch of vanity. 
She twines red rosebuds in her hair, 
And smiles to know herself so fair ; 
And quite believes, like other belles, 
The pleasant tale her mirror tells. 

IX. 

A very woman, full of tears, 
Hopes, blushes, tendernesses, fears, 
Griefs, laughter, kindness, joys and 

sighs, 

Loves, likings, friendships, sympathies ; 
A heart to feel for every woe, 
And pity, if not dole, bestow ; 
A hand to give from scanty store, 
A look to wish the offering more. 

x. 

In artless faith and virtue strong, 
Too loving to do Love a wrong ; 
She takes delight in simnle things, 
And in the sunshine works and sings. 
Sweet bird ! so meekly innocent, 
The foulest hawk that ever rent 
A trusting heart, would gaze, and fly, 
And spare her in her purity. 

XI. 

Take Lady Mary ye who will, 
Her woods, her castle on the hill, 



JOHN LITTLE JOHN. 



241 



Her lands o'er half a county spread 
And wither in her loveless bed ; 
But give me Mary, frank and free, 
Her beauty, grace, and modesty : 
I pass My Lady in the mart 
I take the Woman with the heart. 



ABOVE AND BELOW. 

i. 

MIGHTY river, oh, mighty river, 
Rolling in ebb and flow for ever, 
Through the city so vast and old ; 
Through massive bridges by domes 

and spires, 
Crown'd with the smoke of a myriad 

fires ; 

City of majesty, power, and gold ; 
Thou lovest to float on thy waters dull 
The white-winged fleets so beautiful, 
And the lordly steamers speeding along, 
Wind defying, and swift and strong ; 
Thou bearest them all on thy motherly 

breast, 

Laden with riches, at Trade's behest 
Bounteous Trade, whose wine and com 
Stock the garner and fill the horn ; 
Who gives us Luxury, Joy, and Pleasure, 
Stintless, sumless, out of measure 
Thou art a rich and a mighty river, 
Rolling in ebb and flow for ever. 

ii. 

Doleful river, oh, doleful river, 

Pale on thy breast the moonbeams 

quiver, 

Through the citv so drear and cold- 
City of sorrows hard to bear, 
Of guilt, injustice, and despair 
City of niiseries untold ; 
Thou hidest below, in thy treacherous 

waters, 

The death-cold forms of Beauty's daugh- 
ters ; 

The corses pale of the young and sad 
Of the olcl whom sorrow has goaded 

mad 

Mothers of babes that cannot know 
The sires that left them to their woe 
Women forlorn, and men that run 
The race of passion, and die undone ; 



Thou takest them all to thy careless 

wave, 

Thou givest them all a ready grave ; 
Thou art a black and a doleful river, 
Rolling in ebb and flow for ever. 

in. 

In ebb and flow for ever and ever 
So rolls the world, thou murky river ! 
So rolls the tide, above and below : 
Above, the rower impels his boat ; 
Below, with the current the dead men 

float ! 

The waves may smile in the sunny glow, 
While above, in the glitter, and pomp, 

and glare, 

The flags of the vessels flap the air; , 
But below, in the silent under-tide. 
The waters vomit the wretch that died. 
Above, the sound of the music swells, 
From the passing ship, from the city 

beljs ; 
From below there cometh a gurgling 

breath, 

As the desperate diver yields to death : 
Above and below the waters go, 
Bearing their burden of Joy or Woe ; 
Rolling along, thou mighty river, 
In ebb and flow for ever and ever ! 



JOHN LITTLEJOHN. 

JOHN LITTLEJOHN was stanch and 

strong, 

Upright and downright, scorning wrong; 
He gave good weight, and paid his way, 
He thought for himself, and he said his 

say. 

Whenever a rascal strove to pass, 
Instead of silver, money of brass, 
He took his hammer, and said, with a 

frown. 
* The coins a lad one, nail it down. 1 

John Littlejohn was firm and true, 
You could not cheat him in ' two and 

two;' 

When foolish arguers, might and main. 
Darken'd and twisted the clear and plain, 
He saw through the mazes of their 

speech 

The simple truth beyond their reach 
16 



242 



LONDO^ LYRICS. 



And crushing their logic, said, with a 

frown, 
Your coin's a bad one, nail it down.' 

John Littlejohn maintained the Right, ? 
Through storm and shine, in the world s 

despite ; 

When fools or quacks desired his vote, 
Dosed him with arguments, learn'd by 

rote, 

Or by coaxing, threats, or promise, tried 
To gain his support to the Ayrougful side, 

* Nay, nay,' said John, with an angry 

irown, 
1 Your coin's a bad one, nail it down. 1 

When told that kings had a right divine, 
And that the people were herds of swine, 
That the rich alone were fit to rule, 
That the poor were unimproved by 

school, 

That ceaseless toil was the proper fate 
Of all but the wealthy and the great, 
John shook liis head, and swore, with a 

frown, 
' The coin's a bad one, nail it down. 1 

When told that events might justify 
A false and crooked policy, 
That a decent hope of future good 
Might excuse departure from rectitude, 
That a lie, if white, was a small offence, 
To be forgiven by men of sense, 
' Nay, nay,' said John, with a sigh and 
frown, 

* The coin's a bad one, nail it down. 1 

When told from the pulpit or the press 

That Heaven was a place of exclusive- 
ness, 

That none but those could enter there 

Who knelt with the 'orthodox' at 
prayer. 

And held all virtues out of their pale 

As idle works of no avail, 

John's face grew dark, as he swore, with 
a frown, 

' The coin's a bad one, nail it douw..' 

Whenever the world our eyes would 

blind 

With false pretences of such a kind, 
With humbug, cant, and bigotry, 
Or a specious, sham philosophy, 



With wrong dress'd up in the guise of 

right, 

And darkness passing itself for light, 
Let us imitate John, and exclaim, with 

a frown, 
The coins are spurious, nail tfwm 

down ! ' 



THE POOR MAN'S BIRD. 



A YEAR ago I had a child, 
A little daughter fair and mild ; 
More precious than my life to me, 
She sleeps beneath the churchyard tree. 
Dh ! she was good as she was fair, 
Her presence was like balmy air ; 
She was a radiance in my room, 
She was sunlight in my gloom. 

ii. 

She loved thee well, thou little bird, 
Her voice and thine were ever heara ; 
They roused me when the morning 

shone, 

But now I hear thy voice alone. 
She call'd me gently to her side, 
Gave me her bird, and, smiling, died. 
Thou wert her last bequest to me ; 
I loved her fondly I love thee. 

in. 

'Tis true, I often think it hardj 
Sweet lark, to keep thee here imbarr'd, 
Whilst thou art singing all day long, 
As if the fields inspired thy song, 
As if the flowers, the woods, the streams, 
Were present in thy waking dreams ; 
But yet, how can I let thee fly ? 
What couldst thou do with liberty ? 

IV. 

What couldst tJiou do ? Alas, for me ! 
What should / do if wanting thee, 
Sole relic of my Lucy dear ? 
There needs no talk thou'rt prisoner 

here. 

But I will make thy durance sweet, 
I'll bring thee turf to cool thy feet ; 
Fresh turf, with daisies tipp'd in pink, 
And water from the well to drink. 







She loved thee well, thou little bird. 

The Poor Man's Bird.?. 242 



UNKNOWN ROMANCES. 



243 



v. 

I need thee. Were it not to choose, 
Ere sunshine dry the morning dews, 
Thy fresh green turf, I should not 

stray 

Out to the fields the live-long day ; 
I should be captive to the town, 
And waste my life in alleys brown ; 
Thy wants impel me to the sward, 
And Nature's face is my reward. 



VI. 

Sweet bird, thou wakenest by thy song 
Bright memories and affections strong ; 
At sight of thee I dream of flowers, 
And running streams, and branching 

bowers ; 

But most of her whose little face 
Was luminous with love and grace ; 
Thou art a link I may not break 
I love thee for my Lucy's sake. 



UNKNOWN ROMANCES. 



OFT have I wander'd when the first faint light 

Of morning shone upon the steeple-vanes 
Of sleeping London, through the silent night, , 

Musing on memories of joys and pains ; 
And looking down long vistas of dim lanes 

And shadowy streets, one after other spread 
In endless coil, have thought what hopes now dead 

Once bloom'd in every house, what tearful rains 
Women have wept, for husband, sire, or son ; 

What love and sorrow ran their course in each, 
And what great silent tragedies were done ; 

And wisrrd the dumb and secret walls had speech, 
That they might whisper to me, one by one, 

The sad true lessons that their walls might teach. 

ii. 

Close and forgetful witnesses, they hide, 

In nuptial chamber, attic, or saloon, 
Many a legend sad of desolate bride, 

And mournful mother, blighted all too soon ; 
Of strong men's agony, despair, and pride, 

And mental glory darken' d ere its noon. 
But let the legends perish in their place, 

For well I know where'er these walls have seen 
Humanity's upturn'd and heavenly face, 

That there has virtue, there has courage been ; 
That e'en 'mid passions foul, and vices base, 

Some ray of goodness interposed between. 
Ye voiceless houses, ever as I gaze, 

This moral flashes from your walls serene. 



244 



LONDON LYRICS 



THE MOWERS. 

; AN ANTICIPATION OP THE OHOLEEA, 

1848. 

DENSE on the stream the vapours lay, 
Thick as wool on the cold highway ; 
Spongy and dim, each lonely lamp 
Shone o'er the streets so dull and damp ; 
The moonbeam could not pierce the cloud 
That swathed the city like a shroud. 
There stood tliree Shapes on the bridge 

alone, 

Three figures by the coping-stone ; 
Gaunt, and tall, and undefined, 
Spectres built of mist and wind ; 
Changing ever in form and height, 
But black and palpable to sight. 

' This is a city fair to see/ 
Whisper'd one of the fearful three ; 
' A mighty tribute it pays to me. 
Into its river, winding slow, 

Thick and foul from shore to shore, 
The vessels come, the vessels go, 

And teeming lands their riches pour. 
It spreads beneath the murky sky 
A wilderness of masonry ; 
Huge, unshapely, overgrown, 
Dingy brick and blacken'd stone. 
Mammon is its chief and lord, 
Monarch slavishly adored ; 
Mammon sitting side by side 
With Pomp, and Luxury, and Pride ; 
Who call his large dominion theirs, 
Nor dream a portion is Despair's. 

* Countless thousands bend to me 

In rags and purple, in hovel and hall, 
And pay the tax of Misery 

With tears and blood, and spoken gall. 
Whenever they cry for aid to die, 
I give them courage to dare the worst, 
And leave their ban on a world accursed. 
I show them the river so black and deep, 
They take the plunge, they sink to sleep ; 
I show them poison, I show them rope, 
They rush to death without a hope. 
Poison, and rope, and pistol-ball, 
Welcome either, welcome all ! 
I am the lord of the teeming town 
/ mow them doivn, I mow them down!' 



' Ay, thou art great, but greater I/ 
The second spectre made reply ; 
' Thou rulest with a frown austere, 
Thy name is synonym of Fear. 
But I, despotic and hard as thou, 
Have a laughing lip, an open brow. 
I build a temple in every lane, 

I have a palace in every street ; 
And the victims throng to the doors 
amain. 

And wallow like swine beneath my 

feet. 

To me the strong man gives his health, 
The wise man reason, the rich man 

wealth ; 

Maids their virtue, youth its charms, 
And mothers the children in their arms. 
Thou art a slayer of mortal men 
Thou of the unit, I of the ten ; 
Great thou art, but greater I, 
To decimate humanity. 
'Tis / am the lord of the teeming town 
/ mow them down, I mow them down!' 

' Vain boasters to exult at death/ 

The third replied, ' so feebly done ; 
I ope my jaws, and with a breath 

>Slay, thousands while you think of one. 
All the blood that Caesar spill'd, 

All that Alexander drew, 
All the hosts by "glory" kilPd, 

From Agincourt to Waterloo, 
Compared with those whom I have slain, 
Are but a river to the main. 

' I brew disease in stagnant pools, 
And wandering here, disporting there, 

Favoured much by knaves and fools, 
I poison streams, I taint the air ; ^ 

I shake from my locks the spreading 
Pest, 

I keep the Typhus at my behest ; 

In filth and slime I crawl, I climb ; 

I find the workman at his trade, 
I blow on his lips, and down he lies ; 

I look in the face of the ruddiest maid, 
And straight the fire forsakes her 

eyes- 
She droops, she sickens, and she dies ; 

I stint the growth of babes new-born, 

Or shear them off like standing com ; 

I rob the sunshine of its glow, 

I poison all the winds that blow ; 



THE PHASTOMS OF ST SEPULCHRE. 



245 



Whenever they pass, they suck my 

breath. 
And freight their wings with certain 

death. 
'Tis / am the lord of the crowded 

town 
/ mow them down, I mow tJiem down! 

' But great as we are, there cometh one 

Greater than you greater than I, 
To aid the deeds that shall be done, 
To end the work that we've begun, 
And thin this thick humanity. 



I see his footmarks east and west, 

I hear his tread in the silence fall, 
He shall not sleep, he shall not rest 

He comes to aid us one and all ! 
Were men as wise as men might be, 
They would not work for you, for me, 
For him that cometh over the sea ; 
But they will not heed the warning 

voice. 

The Cholera comes, rejoice ! rejoice ! 
He shall be lord of the swarming town, 
And mow them down, and mow them 
down! 



THE PHANTOMS OF ST SEPULCHRE, 1849. 

[!T may be necessary to inform the reader unacquainted with London, that the church of 
St Sepulchre is close to the gaol of Newgate, and that its bell is tolled when a criminal is to 
be executed. Few will need to be reminded that the three stories related are not fabulous.] 

' DIDST ever see a hanging ? ' ' No, not one, 

Nor ever wish to see such scandal done. 

But once I saw a wretch condemn'd to die : 

A lean-faced, bright-eyed youth, who made me sigh 

At the recital of a dream he had. 

He was not sane, and yet he was not mad : 

Fit subject for a mesmerist he seem'd ; 

For when he slept, he saw ; and when he dream'd, 

His visions were as palpable to him 

As facts to us. My memory is dim 

Upon his story, but I'll ne'er forget 

The dream he told me, for it haunts me yet, 

Impress'd upon me by his earnest faith 

That 'twas no vision, but a sight which Death 

Open'd his eyes to see, an actual glimpse 

Into the world of spectres and of imps 

Vouchsafed to him on threshold of the grave. 

List ! and I'll give it in the words he gave : 

' " Ay, you may think that I am crazed, 

But what I saw, that did I see. 

These walls are thick, my brain is sick, 

And yet mine eyes saw lucidly. 

Through the joists and through the stones 

I could look as through a glass : 

And, from this dungeon damp and cold, 

I watch'd the motley people pass. 

All day long, rapid and strong, 

Roll'd to and fro the living stream ; 

But in the nicjht I saw a sight 

I cannot think it was a dream. 

' " Old St Sepulchre's bell will toll 
At eteht to-morrow for my soul ; 



246 . LONDON LYRICS. 

AD<! thousands, not much better than I, 

Will throng around to see me die ; 

And many will bless their happy fate 

That they ne'er fell from their high estate, 

Or did such deed as I have done ; 

Though, from the rise to the set of sun, 

They cheat their neighbours all their days, 

And gather gold in slimy ways. 

But my soul feels strong, and my sight grows clear, 

As my death-hour approaches near, 

And in its presence I will tell 

The very truth, as it befell. 

* " The snow lies thick on the house-tops cold, 

Shrill and keen the March winds blow ; 

The rank grass of the churchyard mould 

Is cover'd o'er with drifted snow ; 

The graves in old St Sepulchre's yard 

Were white last night when I look'd forth. 

And the sharp clear stars seem'd to dance in the sky, 

Rock'd by the fierce winds of the north. 

' " The houses dull seem'd numb with frost, 

The streets seem'd wider than of yore, 

And the straggling passengers trod, like ghosts, 

Silently on the pathway frore ; 

When I look'd through that churchyard rail, 

And thought of the bell that should ring my doom, 

And saw three women, sad -and pale, 

Sitting together on a tomb. 

* " A fearful sight it was to see, 

As up they rose and look'd at me. 

Sunken were their cheeks and eyes ; 

Blue-cold were their feet, and bare ; 

Lean and yellow were their hands ; 

Long and scanty was their hair ; 

And round their necks I saw the ropes 

Deftly knotted, tightly drawn ; 

And knew they were not things of earth, 

Or creatures that could face the dawn. 

* " Seen dimly in the uncertain light, 
They multiplied upon my sight ; 
And things like men and women sprung 
Shapes of those who had been hung 
From the rank and clammy ground. 
I counted them I knew them all, 
Each with its rope around its neck, 
Marshall'd by the churchyard wall. 
The stiff policeman, passing along, 
Saw them not, nor made delay ; 
A reeling bacchanal, shouting a song, 
Look'd at the clock and went his way ; 
A troop of girls with painted cheeks, 
Laughing and yelling in drunken glee, 



THE PHANTOMS OF ST SEPULCHRE. 24? 

Pass'cl like a gust, and never look'd 

At the sight so palpable to me. 

I saw them heard them felt their breath 

Musty and raw and damp as death ! 

{ " These women three, these fearful shapes, 

Look'd at me through Newgate stone, 

And raised their fingers, skinny and lank, 

Whispering low in under-tone : 

'His hour draws near, he's one of us, 

His gibbet is built, his noose is tied ; 

They have put his date on the coffin-lid : 

The law of blood shall be satisfied. 

He shall rest with us, and his name shall be 

A by-word and a mockery.' 

* " I whisper'd to one, ' What hast thou done 1 ' 

She answered, whispering, and I heard 

Although a chime rang at the time 

Every sentence, every word, 

Clear above the pealing bells : 

' I was mad, and slew my child ; 

Better than life, God knows, I loved it ; 

But pain and hunger drove me wild, 

Scorn and hunger, and grief and care ; 

And I slew it in my despair. 

And for this deed they raised the gibbet ; 

For this deed the noose they tied ; 

And I hung and swung in the sight of men, 

And the law of blood was satisfied/ 

' " I said to the second, * What didst thou ? 

Her keen eyes llash'd unearthly shine. 

' I married a youth when I was young, 

And thought all happiness was mine ; 

But they stole him from me to fight the French"; 

And I was left in the world alone, 

To beg or steal, to live or die, 

Robb'd of my stay, my all, my own. 

England stole my lord from me, 

I stole a ribbon, was caught and tried ; 

And I hung and swung in the sight of men, 

And the law of blood was satisfied.' 

' " I said to the third, ' What crime was tliine ? ' 
' Crime ! ' she answer'd, in accents meek, 
4 The babe that sucks at its mother's breast, 
And smiles with its little dimpled cheek, 
Is not more innocent than I. 
But truth was feeble, error was strong ; 
And guiltless of a deed of shame, 
Men's justice did me cruel wrong. 
They would not hear my truthful words : 
They thought me fill'd with stubborn pride ; 
And I hung and swung in the sight of men, 
And the law of blood was satisfied.' 



248 



LONDON LYRICS. 

' " Then one and all, by that churchyard wall. 

Raised their skinny hands at me ; 

Their voices mingling like the sound 

Of rustling leaves in a withering tree : 

' His hour has come, he's one of us ; 

His gibbet is built, his noose is tied ; 

His knell shall ring, and his corpse shall swing, 

And the law of blood shall^e satisfied.' 

4 " They yanish'd ! I saw them, one by one, 

With their bare blue feet on the drifted snow 

Sink like a thaw, when the sun is up, 

To their wormy solitudes below. 

Though you may deem this was a dream, 

My facts are tangible facts to me ; 

For the sight glows clear as death draws near 

And looks into Futurity.'" 



THE SOULS OF THE CHILDREN. 

A PLEA FOB NATIONAL EDUCATION. 

1852. 
I. 

1 WHO bids for the little children, 

Body, and soul, and brain ? 
Who bids for the little children, 

Young, and without a stain ? 
Will no one bid/ said England, 

' For their souls so pure and white, 
And fit for all good or evil, 

The world on their page may write ? ' 

ii. 

1 We bid/ said Pest and Famine. 

' We bid for life and limb; 
Fever and pain and squalor 

Their bright young eyes shall dim. 
When the children grow too many, 

We'll nurse them as our own, 
And hide them in secret places, 

Where none may hear their moan.' 

in. 
' I bid/ said Beggary, howling, 

' I bid for them, one and all ! ' 
I'll teach them a thousand lessons 

To lie, to skulk, to crawl ! 
They shall sleep in my lair, like maggots, 

They shall rot in the fair sunshine ; 
And if they serve my purpose, 

I hope they'll answer thine/ 

4 And I'll bid higher and higher/ 
Said Crime with wolfish grin, 



1 For I love to lead the children 
Through the pleasant paths of sin. 

Thev shall swarm in the streets to pilfer, 
They shall plague the broad highway, 

Till they grow too old for pity, 
And ripe for the law to slay. 

v. 
' Prison and hulk and gallows, 

Are many in the laud, 
'Twere folly not to use them, 

So proudly as they stand. 
Give me the" little children 

I'll take them as they're bora, 
And feed their evil passions 

With misery and scorn. 

VI. 

' Give me the little children, 

Ye good, ye rich, ye wise, 
And let the busy world spin round, 

While ye shut your idle eyes ; 
And your judges shall have work, 

And your lawyers wag the tongue, 
And the gaolers and policemen 

Shall be fathers to the young. 

VII. 

' I and the Law, for pastime, 

Shall struggle day and night ; 
And the Law shall gain, but I shall win, 

And we'll still renew the fight : 
And ever and aye we'll wrestle, 

Till Law grow sick and sad, 
And kill, in its desperation, 

The incorrigibly bad. 



JA1T MARY. 



249 



VIII. 

'I, and the Law, and Justice, 

Shall thwart each other still ; 
And hearts shall break to see it ; 

And innocent blood shall spill ! 
So leave, oh, leave the children 

To Ignorance and Woe 
And I'll come in and teach them 

The way that they should go.' 

IX. 

1 Oh. shame ! ' said true Religion. 

* Oh, shame that this should be ! 
Til take the little children, 

I'll take them all to me : 
I'll raise them up with kindness 

From the mire in which they're trod 
I'll teach them words of blessing. 

I'll lead them up to God/ 

x. 
' You're not the trae Religion,' 

Said a Sect with flashing eyes ; 
' Nor thou,' said another scowling, 

* Thou'rt heresy and lies.' 

' You shall not have the children,' 
Said a third with shout and yell; 

* You're Antichrist and bigot 
You'd train them up for hell.' 

XI. 

And England, sorely puzzled 

To see such battle strong, 
Exclaim'd, with voice of pity, 

' Oh, friends, you do me wrong ! 
Oh, cease your bitter wrangling ; 

For, till you all agree, 
I fear the little children 

Will plague both yon and me/ 

XII. 

But all refused to listen ; 

Quoth they 4 We bide our time ;' 
And the bidders seized the children 

Beggary, Filth, and Crime ; 
And the prisons teem'd with victims, 

And the gallows rpck'd on high ; 
And the thick abomination 

Spread reeking to the sky. 



MAY MARY.-FIRST PART. 

i. 

' WHAT ! is it you, May Mary ? 
You, in this tawdry gown ? 



With painted cheeks, and hollow eyes, 
An outcast in this wretched guise, 
A victim of the town ? 

ii. 
'Oh Mary ! sad May Mary ! 

Five little years ago, 
I saw you on the village green, 
A bashful maiden of sixteen, 

As pure as falling snow. 

in. 

1 Oh desolate May Mary ! 

Your face was blooming then, 
Your laugh rang merry in our ears/ 
And lovely both in smiles and tears, 

You won the hearts of men. 

IV. 

' You drew all eyes, May Mary ! 

We look'd upon your face, 
And could not choose but breathe a 

prayer 
That Heaven would shield you with its 

care, 
And light you with its grace. 

v. 
1 How are you fallen, May Mary ! 

You are the scorner's mark; 
There is a cloud upon your fame, 
There is a blight upon your name, 
Your light has turn'd to dark. 

VI. 

And, oh forlorn May Mary ! 
It grieves me to behold 
The woe that guilt has brought on you, 
The change that grief has wrought in 

you 
It makes my blood run cold. 

VII. 

But yet, take courage, Mary, 

God's mercy long endures ; 
My God is God of all who mourn. 
Repent amend your heart shall 

turn ; 
Forgiveness shall be yours.' 

VIII. 

Alas ! ' said sad May Mary, 
1 My dearest hopes are gone ; 
o chance is left to my desire, 
am down-trodden in the mire, 
My days of joy are done. 



250 



LONDON LYRICS. 



IX. 



' Miiie is the old, old story 

I foolishly believed ; 
I gave my heart m joy and pain ;" 
But loving, was not loved again ; 

Abandon'd and deceived. 



x. 



' Tet I, e'en I, May Mary, 

A target set for scorn, 
And clinging to a desperate life, 
Neither a maiden nor a wife, 

Despisejl, undone, forlorn, 

XI. 

' I, even I, was happy ! 

But three short months ago, 
I had a child, a lovely child, 
Fair-hair 'd, blue-eyed, most sweet and 
mild, 

A blessing in my woe. 

XII. 

' The little creature prattled 

With soft angelic words ; 
It made me think of days gone by, 
Of village bowers, a cloudless sky, 

And songs of happy birds. 

XIII. 

' It had a sense God save it 

To mine superior far ; 
It drew me from the wrong to right ; 
In utter darkness 'twas a light, 

A beacon and a star. 

XIV. 

* I was most weak and sinful ; 

I lixten'd to Despair ; 
When frenzied thoughts possess'd my 

brain. 
Gin was the solace of my pain, 

The soother of my care. 

xv. 
' The little creature saw it ; 

7 Twas sane, when I was mad ; 
And said such things, I wonderd oft 
To hear that infant voice so soft, 

Breathe goodness to the bad. 

XVI. 

* It made me love lost Virtue, 

It cheer'd my darkest day, 
It was a vision in my rest, 
It was a floweret in my breast, 

It drove my guilt away. , 



XVII. 

' The child is dead : May Mary 

But lives its loss to moan ; 
The only thing that loved her here 
Has gone to Heaven her heart is sear,- 
She walks the world alone ! ' 

XVIII. 

' God help thee, sad May Mary ! 

Though guilt on guilt be piled, 
The heart may hope to be forgiven 
That patiently confides in Heaven, 

Ana loves a little child. 

XIX. 

' Look up ! forlorn May Mary, 
And kiss the chastening rod ! 
Thy child has only gone before, 
Amid the seraphs that adore 
It pleads for thee to God.' 



MAY MARY.-SECOND PART. 



HALF-PAST three in the morning ! 

And no one in the street 
But me, on the sheltering door-step 

Resting my weary feet ; 
Watching the rain-drops patter 

And dance where the puddles run, 
As bright in the flaring gas-light 

As dewdrops in the sun. 

II. 

There's a light upon the pavement- 
It shines like a magic glass, 

And there are faces in it, 
That look at me, and pass. 

Faces ah ! well remembered 
In the happy Long- Ago, 

When my garb was white as lilies, 
And my thoughts as pure as snow. 
in. 

Faces ! ah yes ! I see them 
One, two, and three and four 

That come on the gust of tempests, 
And go on the winds that bore. 

Changeful and evanescent 
They shine 'mid storm and rain, 

Till the terror of their beauty 
Lies deep upon my brain. 

IV. 

One of them frowns ; / know him, 
With Ms thin long snow-white hair, 



A CONFABULATION. 



251 



Cursing his wretched daughter 

That drove him to despair. 
And the other, with wakening pity 

In her large tear-streaming eyes, 
Seems as she yearn'd toward me, 

To whisper ' Paradise/ 

v. 

They pass, they melt in the ripples, 

And I shut -mine eyes that burn, 
To escape another vision 

That follows where'er I turn : 
The face of a false deceiver 

That lives and lies ; ah me ! 
Though I see it in the pavement, 

Mocking my misery ! 

VI. 

They are gone ! all three ! quite 

vanish'd ! 

Let nothing call them back ! 
For I've had enough of phantoms, 

And my heart is on the rack ! 
GOD help me m my sorrow ; 

But there, in the wet, cold stone, 
Smiling in heavenly beauty, 

I see my lost, mine own ! 

VII. 

There on the glimmering pavement, 

With eyes as blue as morn, 
Floats by, the fair-hair'd darling 

Too soon from my bosom torn ; 
She clasps her tiny fingers 

She calls me sweet and mild. 
And says that my GOD forgives me, 

For the sake o'f my little child. 

VIII. 

I will go to her grave to-morroAV, 

And pray that I may die ; 
And I hope that my GOD will take me 

Ere the days of my youth go by. 
For I am old in anguish, 

And long to be at rest, 
With my little babe beside me, 

And the daisies on my breast. 



A CONFABULATION. 

FIRST OLD HUMBUG. 

DEAR brother Brown, if we could take 
Such liberty with Time, 



As just to back his fatal clock, 

To mark our early prime. 
When we were barely twenty-three 

And prodigal of youth, 
And thought all women were divine, 

All men the souls of truth ; 
If we could feel as then we felt, 

And know what now we knoAV, 
We'd take more pleasure than we did 

Twice twenty years ago. 

SECOND OLD HUMBUG. 

Dear Brother Smith, I'm not so sure ; 

'Tis heart that keeps us young, 
And heart was ever ignorant, 

Since Eve and Adam sprung. 
And if we knew in youthful days 

As much as when we're old, 
I fear that heart would turn to stone, 

And blood run very cold. 
Yet none the less, for sake of life, 

Though life should bring me woe, 
I'd gladly be the fool I was 

Twice twenty years ago. 

THIRD OLD HUMBUG. 

Dear Smith and Brown, of parted hours 

Your talk is void and vain, 
They're gone God wot! Let's bless 
our lot ! 

They cannot come again. 
Each age has its appointed joy, 

And each its heavy load, 
And I for one would not retrace 

My footsteps on the road. 
I know no Time, but present Time, 

And if the claret flow 
And we enjoy it why recall 

Twice twenty years ago ? 

I know I've had my share of joy 

I know I've suffer'd long, 
I know I've tried to do the right, 

Although I've done the wrong. 
I know 'mid all my pleasures past, 

That sleep has been the best, 
And that I'm weary, very weary, 

And soon shall be* at rest. 
Yet all the same I cling to life, 

4 To be 'is all I know, 
And if I'm right, I knew no more, 

Twice twenty years ago. 



252 



LONDON LYRICS. 



THE YOUNG HUMBUG. 

You dear old humbugs, Jones and Smith, 

Thou dear old humbug, Brown, 
You live like oysters, though not half 

So useful to the town. 
I'll lead a nobler life than yours, 

While yet my youth remains, 
And gather up a store of gold 

To heal old Age's pains. 
You've had your pleasures as you went 

In driblets small and thin , 
I'll have my pleasures in the lump, 

And end where you begin. 

I'll carve and care, I'll stint and spare, 

And heap up sum on sum, 
To make myself a millionnaiw 

Before old Age shall come. 
I'll flaunt the rich, I'll feed the poor, 

And on the scroll of Fame, 
So large that all the world may read, 

I'll write my honest name ! 

CHORUS OF OLD HUMBUGS. 

Yes ! Fool ! and when you're old as we, 
You'll find, on verge of death, 

That little pleasures are the best. 
And Fame not worth a breath. 



THE LONE LAWYER AT HOME 
IN CHAMBERS. 

THE OLD LATIN GRAMMAR. 
I. 

MY poor old dogVear'd Latin grammar, 

Sole relic of my schoolboy years, 
When knowledge, like a great sledge- 
hammer, 

Batter'd my brain amid my tears. 
I gaze upon thy woeful pages, 

And think, remembering parted pain. 
That few philosophers or sages 

Would h'ke the past to come again. 

n. 
I know I wouldn't. Greek and Latin 

Made misery of my youthful time ; 
Though mathematics I was pat in, 

And not amiss in rhythm and rhyme, 
My boyhood's days were days of grief, 

My appetite outran my dinner ; 



And pocket money's scant relief 
Still left my appetite the winner. 

in. 
And then the pangs of hopeless passion, 

Which in my burning teens I knew, 
Though comic in a certain fashion, 

Were bitter sorrows while they grew ! 
[ loug'd to leap Time's bars and jailers 

To be my self s own king ana lord ; 
To pass * tlie Rubicon of tailors/ 

And fight the world with pen or 
sword. 

IV. 

Great were the ambition and the folly 

That sent my soul to future clays, 
Amid a present melancholy. 

To seek for glory and its bays. 
I thought all pleasures were before me 

Love, Fortune, Fame all bliss com- 
bined. 
Poor fool ! ere forty years flew o'er mo 

I'd left the best of them behind. 

v. 

Still Fortune or its chance is left me, 

My stomach's good, my brain is clear ; 
My heart is soft, for it bereft me 

Of twice five thousand pounds a year. 
I might have married all that money, 

But chose to wed a poor young maid 
Fair as the morn and sweet as nouey, 

Who loved me dearly I'm afraid. 

VI. 

This grammar stirs my soul too sadly ! 

Go rest, old relic, on the shelf ! 
I fear my life has pass'd but badly ; 

I do not care to know myself. 
I've got a chance for Rottenborough, 

And if I win, my sun's not set, 
I'll aim at public life go thorough 

Who knows ? I may be Premier yet. 

VII. 

And if I be a spirit nudges, 

Close at my elbow won't I make, 
Bishops, Ambassadors, and Judges, 

For glory's or for mischief's sake ? 
If not,Avhat matters ? Brookes's,Boodle's, 

Or other stupid clubs of mine, 
Will yield the scoruer his old corner, 

His dinner, and his pint of wine. 



THE HALL PORTER. 



253 



THE HALL PORTER AT THE 
CLUB. 



' How long, good friend, have you sat 
here, 

A warder at the door, 
To let none pass but the elect 

Into the inner floor ? ' 
' I think 'tis thirty years at least ; 

I came in manly prime, 
And now I'm growing frail and old, 

And feel the touch of Time. 

ii. 
1 Many's the change that I have seen 

Since first I enter'd here ; 
A thousand merry gentlemen 

Were members in that year. 
And of the thousand there remain 

Scarce fifty that I know, 
And they are growing old like me, 

And hobble as they go. 

in. 

1 Seven hundred underneath the sod, 

The great, the rich, the free ; 
A hundred fallen on evil days, 

Too poor to pay the fee. 
Fifty resign'd because their wives 

Forbade them to remain ; 
And half a score went moody mad 

From overwork of brain. 

IV. 

1 And two committed suicide, 

One for a faithless wife, 
And one for fear to face the law 

That could not take his life. 
But why run o'er the mournful list? 

Each month that passes round, 
Sees some old leaf from this old tree 

Fall fluttering to the ground. 

v. 

' And you, my friend, who question me, 

Are young, and hale, and strong, 
You'll have such memories as mine 

If you but live as long ! ' 

' Well ! well ! I know ! Why moralize? 

Or go in search of sorrow ? 
Here's half a crown to drink my health ; 

And better luck to-morrow I' 



FALSE HAIR. 1870. 

i. 

WHO'LL buy tresses, bonnie brown 
tresses ? 

Maids and matrons, come and buy ! 
Here is one that was cut from a beggar 

Crouching low in a ditch to die ! 
Look at it, Countess ! Envy it, Duchess ! 

'Tis long and fine, 'twill suit you well ; 
Hers by nature, yours by purchase; 

Beauty was only made to sell ! 

n. 

Who'll buy hair of a lustrous yellow ? 

Maids and matrons, 'tis bright as gold, 
'Twas shorn from the head of a wretched 

pauper 

Starving with hunger and bitter cold. 
It brought her a supper, a bed, and a 

breakfast ; 

Buy it, fair ladies, whose locks are thin, 
-'Twill help to cheat the silly lovers 
Who care not for heads that have 
brains within. 

in. 

Who '11 buy tresses, jet-black tresses ? 

Maids and matrons, lose no time ! 
These raven locks, so sleek and glossy, 
Belong'd to a murderess red with 

crime. 
The hangman's perquisite; worth a 

guinea ! 
Wear them, and flaunt them, good Ma 

dame ; 

They'll make you look a little younger; 
She was reality, you are a sham ! 

IV. 

Who'll buy tresses, snow-white tresses ? 

Widows and wives whose blood is cold, 
Buy them and wear them, and show the 
scorners 

You're not ashamed of growing old. 
The face and the wig should mate toge- 
ther, 

We all decay, but we need not dye ; 
And age as well as youth needs helping, 

Snow-white tresses come and buy ! 



Who'll buy hair of all shades and colours, 
For masquerade and false pretence 2 



254 



LONDON LYRICS. 



Padding, and make-believe, and swindle 
That never deceive a man of sense ! 

Lovely women ! cheating minxes ! 
'Tis Art, not Nature, wins the day 

False hair, false hips, false hearts, false 

faces ! 
Marry them, boobies, for you may ! 



THE DEPARTURE OF THE IN- 
NOCENTS, 



TAKE them away ! Take them away ! 

' Out of the gutter, the ooze, and slime, 

Where the little vermin paddle and crawl 
Till they grow and ripen into crime. 

Take them away from the jaws of Death, 
And the coils of evil that swaddle them 
round, 

And stifle their souls in every breath 
They draw on the foul and fetid ground. 

Take them away ! away ! away ! 
The bountiful Earth" is wide and free, 

The New shall repair the wrongs of the 

Old- 
Take them away o'er the rolling sea ! 

ii. 

Take them away ! Take them away 1 
The boys from the gallows, the girls 

from worse ; 

They'll prove a blessing to other lands, 
Here, if they linger they'll prove a 

curse; 

The Law's despair the State's reproach 
From the mother's breast to the shel- 
tering grave ; 
One in a thousand too many to hang, 

Ten in a dozen too few to save ! 
Take them away ! away ! away ! 

Plant them anew upon wholesome soil, 
Till their hearts grow fresh in the purer 

air, 

And their hands grow hard with hon- 
est toil. 

in. 

Take them away ! Take them away ! 
To con the lesson they never knew, 
And can never learn mid the reek and rot 
Of the sweltering garbage where they 
grew; 



The lesson that Work is the gift of 
Heaven 

A blessing to lighten all human ill, 
And that the generous Earth affords 

Work and Reward to all who will. 
Take them away ! away ! away ! 

Out of the misery and the scorn, 
Out of the guilt and the shame that track 
them, 

Out of the Midnight into the Morn ! 

IV. 

Take them away ! Take them away ! 

The seeds are good while they are new, 
And will groAv in time into lordly trees 
On the favouring soil, in the fattening 

dew. 

Why should they perish beneath our feet, 
Trodden to death by the hurrying 

crowd, 

Or cast aside, as of no account, 
By the rich, the careless, and the 

proud ? 
Take them away ! away ! away ! 

The bountiful Earth is wide and free, 
The New shall repair the wrongs of the 

Old- 
God be with them over the sea ! 



HELP. 

' WHO'LL help me?' 
Said one with spirit free, 
Of men and fate defiant, 
And firm and self-reliant, 
Who scorn'd to ask another, 
Were it or friend or brother, 
To aid liim in the stress 
Of perils numberless. 

'Who'll help me 

In dire extremity 

To be a man again, 

And trample down my pain, 

And lift mine eyes to heaven, 

Confiding and forgiven ? ' 

' I,' said the Ocean, 
' With all my strength of tides, 
And the heave of my commotion. 
Where the wild, wild tempest rides.' 
1 1,' said the joyous Earth, 
k * In all my populous girth, 



A MAN'S DEFIANCE TO SELF-SLAUGHTER. 255 



From the pole unto the pole, 
From the east mito the west, 
I'll aid thee, noble soul, 
To rise and do thy best ! ' 

1 And we/ said the Day and Night, 
And the Law of Gravitation. 
'And we/ said the Dark and Light, 
And the Stars in their gyration. 
' And I/ said Justice, moving 
To the right hand of the Throne. 
4 And I/ said Fate, approving, 
' I make thy cause mine own. 1 



' I knew ye would/ said he 

Who lay in extremity. 

' Strong will, pure soul, true heart- 

With these to take my part, 

And God's law aiding ever 

The resolute endeavour, 

I'll do the best I can, 

To live an honest man ; 

And if I die, I die, 

Strong in my God on high ! ' 



A WRETCHED MAN'S DEFIANCE TO SELF-SLAUGHTER. 



GET you gone ! Devil, that would betray me ! 

And allow me to forget. 
You'd over-persuade and try to slay me, 

But I've strength to resist you yet ! 
Get out of me ! Far from me ! down to the depths 

Where your spirit was born and bred; 
I feel and I know that you cozen me well, 

But I keep both heart and head. 

ii. 
Ah yes ! your rope is cleverly tied, 

Not a drop of blood would be spilt ! 
And your dagger would be sharp and sure 

If I drove It to the hilt ! 
Your poisons are very good poisons, no doubt, 

But I'm not in a hurry to drink; 
And the river runs cold ; and I'm not very old ; 

And I'll live for awliile, I think !, 

in. 
'Tis true I am wretched ; and Death would be rest ;- 

Though I'm not altogether sure. 
I've sinn'd and sufferM, maybe for the best ; 

'Tis my duty to endure. 
A jump in the river would ease my pain ! 

Perhaps ! But I do not know. 
Though your cowardly counsels I disdain, 

False friend ! and treacherous foe ! 

IV. 

And yet I'm weary, and very weary, 

And would like to lie me down, 
Out of the sorrow with no to-morrow 

In the dull Earth's bosom brown ! 
Let the world roll as it listeth to roll 

For man, for tree, for grass ! 
And I'll live till Death says the word to my soul 

' Pass to the Infinite pass.' 



256 



LONDON LYRICS. 



AN APPEAL. 

i. 
PITY the children of the poor, 

Who've never pluck'd the daisies, 
Who've never watch'd the skylark soar, 

Or heard it singing praises ; 
Who've never trod the fresh green sward, 

Or rambled by the river : 
They need a holiday, ye rich 

May Heaven reward the giver ! 

n. 
Pity the little pattering feet 

That swarm in fetid alleys, 
And grimy hands that might be sweet 

'Mid cowslips of the valleys ; 
Pale lips that might turn rosy red 

Where free fresh breezes quiver : 
Provide them holidays, ye rich, 

And Heaven reward the giver ! 

in. 

Pity the little bright blue eyes 

That never saw the Ocean, 
Or gazed with innocent surprise 

At wild waves in commotion ; 
Send, send them forth one happy day 

To hill, or sea, or river. 
'Tis much to them but small to you 

And God reward the giver ! 

IV. 

From healthful joy conies wholesome 
thought, 

And sense of Nature's beauty ; 
And mild instruction, wisdom fraught, 

And Piety and Duty, 
All wither'd in the noisome slums. 

Deliver them Deliver 
Twill cost you little, oh ye rich ! 

And God rewards the giver. 



THE LORD OF CASTLE CRAZY. 



I DWELL in Castle Crazy, 

And am its King and Lord ; 
; Tis furnish'd well for all my needs, 

Cellar and bed and board. 
And up in the topmost attic, 

The furthest from the Earth, 
I keep my choicest tseasures, 

And gems of greatest worth. 



n. 

A nobly stock'd Museum 

Of all that's rare and bright ; 
With plans, ah, many a thousand, 

For setting the wrong world right. 
Plans for destroying Evil, 

And Poverty and Pain, 
And stretching life to a hundred years 

Of vigorous heart and brain. 

in. 
I've books in Castle Crazy 

That solve the riddles of Time, 
And make old histories easy, 

With all their sorrow and crime ; 
Books that divulge all secrets 

That Science has ever thought, 
And might lead us back to Eden 

If men could ever be taught. 

IV. 

I've plans for weaving velvet 

From the spider's web so thin, 
For bottling up the sunshine, 

And distilling rain to gin: 
For finding the essence of Beauty, 

And selling it for a crown 
Ay ! half a crown and less than that 

To the favourites of the townl 

v. 
I've plans for converting the heathen, 

Plans for converting ourselves, 
Perliaps the greatest of heathens ! 

All m a row on my shelves. 
I've plans for transmuting pebbles 

Into the minted gold, 
And fixing dew into diamonds 

As bright as were ever sold. 

VI. 

Though Castle Crazy's open 

To all who wish to see, 
Very few people care to come 

And explore its wealth with me. 
I very wefl know the reason 

Prithee! don't miss the point ! 
/ am the centre of wisdom ; 

And the world is out of joint ! 



THROWING STONES IN THE 
SEA. 

WE sat on the shore at Shanklin, 
Howard, and Smith, and I ; 



WHAT SMELDUNGVS SAID TO HIS FRIEND. 257 



Smith was smoking, I was thinking, 

Howard was idling by. 
He took a stone and toss'd it 

Carelessly into the sea ; 
And then another, again another, 

And sometimes two or three. 

ii. 
1 What are you doing, Howard ? ' 

' I'm losing my money again, 
This little pebble's a thousand 

I dropp'd in that scheme in Spain. 
This is a larger venture ; 

That in the Fisheries sank, 
And this is more than I like to tell 

Swallow'd in Dodge's Bank. 

in. 
* This is a newspaper, vanish'd, 

With thrice a thousand at least ; 
And this is a project, fair to study, 

For making champagne from yeast. 
This is a stone pray, watch it ; 

Ten thousand fully told, 
For converting old shoes to sugar, 

And turning flint to gold ! ' 

IV. 

And still he kept throwing, throwing 

The stones into the sea. 
' Howard ! your losses grieve you ! ' 

' The devil a bit/ quoth he ; 
' But if I don't grow wiser 

Next time that cash runs riot, 
I'll either drown or hang myself 

To keep my guineas quiet.' 



WHAT SMELDUNGUS SAID TO 
HIS YOUNG FRIEND. 



WHEN I wander tip and down 
Through the highways of the town, 
I can study men and manners as I go, 

young man ! 

I can watch the follies run 
Idly flaring in the sun, 
And the vices and the falsehoods where 

they grow, young man ! 
If I see an arrant knave 
In his chariot, looking brave, 
Spattering mud upon his betters you 

and me, young man ! 
I can pass him quite resign'd, 



And reflect with quiet mind, 
That I'd rather walk in tatters and be 
true, young man ! 

11. 

When I see the lordly tower, 
Or the pleasant woodland bower, 
Of some fat contracting jobber on the 

hill, young man ! 
Or the mansion in the square,. 
Full of tomes and pictures rare, 
Of the quack who's made his fortune by 

a pill, young man ! 
Or the cozy snug retreats 
Of the little lying cheats, 
Who poison all they bake and all they 

brew, young man ! 
I can go to bed and say, 
In my attic when I pray, 
< I would rather rent a wigwam and be 
true, young man ! ' 

in. 

When I see a man who thrives 
At the risk of others' lives, 
Out of stolen goods, short measure, and 

short weight, young man ! 
Who gives suppers, dinners, balls, 
And when shivering hunger calls, 
Sends it groaning to the far-off work- 
house gate, young man ! 
I can look clear-eyed to Heaven, 
Saying, ' Be my sins forgiven ; ' 
Let my soul be free of pride, whate'er I 

do, young man ! 
But in utter scorn I'll hold 
All such creatures and their gold, 
For I'd rather be a pauper and be true, 
young man ! 



STRAWBERRIES. 

WE owe thee much, resplendent June, 
For fresh delights of morn or noon, 
For lingering eves with sunsets bright, 
For deep serenities of night, 
For foliage rich, and pomp of flowers, . 
For music of the skies and bowers, 
For sweet fruition, early found, 
And all the promise of the ground. 

But, lovely June, although we prize 
The charms thou spreadest to our eyes ; 
Though we admire thee, young and fair, 
With jocund cheeks and flowing hair; 



258 



LONDON LYRICS. 



Although we love to hear the song 
That floats thy leafy woods among, 
We own a fondness as intense 
For gifts that please another sense. 

When swalloAvs build beneath the eaves, 
There grows, deep hidden under leaves, 
Near to the ground, retiring, shy, 
Tinged with the summer's earliest dye, 
With bright complexion healthy 

clear 

The fairest berry of the year; 
The Strawberry, profusely strewn, 
The jewel in the lap of June. 

Happy is he who, now and then, 
Can wander from the marts of men, 
To prune his trees, to trim his walks, 
To lift his roses' drooping stalks ; 
Or, with his wife and children fair, 
Eat his own fruits in open air, 
And watch, well pleased, their bright 

eyes gleam, 
To feast on strawberries and cream. 

The happy lark is mounting high ; 
Her anthem quivers through the sky : 
The wind upon the tree-top swells ; 
Below it rock the lily-bells ; 
The fruit is pluck'd the cloth is laid 
They sit together in the shade, 
Ana share a feast whose luxury pure 
Might tempt the richest epicure. 

E'en those whom harsher fate detains 
By care, or toil, or money-chains, 
In smoky precincts of the town, 
Far from the garden, field, or down ; 
Who, bending over desk severe, 
Scarce know the changes of the year 
Partake, June ! thy blessings shed, 
And love thee for thy berries red. 

Pomona sends through street and lane 
The buxom maidens of her train ; 
And toil-worn men at work rejoice 
To hear the customary voice, 
That rings adown the busy street, 
In long-drawn accents, clear and sweet 
* Hautbois ! fresh gathered/ taste and 

try! 
Hautbois ! hautbois ! come and 'buy } 

Sweet are the grapes that bloom by 

Rhine, 
Sweet are the eastern date and pine ; 



Sweet are the oranges that grow 
Where Guadalquiver's waters flow ; 
Sweet is the apple sweet the pear 
The blushing peach the cherry fair : 
But bright and beauteous though they 

be 
Give me, oh give, the STRAWBERRY ! 



MODERN CHILDREN. 

i. 

THERE was a time when boys and girls 

Loved fairy legends more than gram- 
mar, 
And took more joy in fairy wands 

Than in the scientific hammer. 
When round the blazing hearth they sat, 

With sparkling eyes and keen atten- 
tion, 
To hear a mother's lips rehearse 

The charming tales of old invention. 

ii. 
When they believed pleasant 



The great exploits of 'Pussy* booted; 
When of the deeds of brave Tom Thumb 
The smallest doubt was never mooted. 
When ' Beauty and the Beast' awoke 
A sympathy most true and tender ; 
And Jack the Giant Killer's sword 
Was injured Virtue's best defender. 

m. 
When that more wondrous Jack who 

clomb 
The Bean-stalk up to Heaven's own 

portals, 
Was by their partial judgment drawn 

The bravest and the best of mortals. 
When ' Riding Hood,' untimely slain i. 

By cruel monster of the wild-wood, 
Was oft bemoan'd with guileless tears- 
Bright jewels on the cheeks of child- 
hood. 

IV. 

When 'Sinbad' blessings on hia 

name ! 

Was first of men and navigators, 
Compared with whom our Cook, and 

Ross, 

And Franklin are but second-raters. 
When coats of darkness, wishing-caps, 
And seven-league boots were doubted 
never, 



THE PASSING CROWD. 



259 



And brisk Aladdin's lamp appear'd 
A beauty and a joy for ever. 



When boy or girl, who heard the tale 

Of good and patient Cinderella, 
Admired and pitied, wept and smiled, 

And thought her Prince a gallant 

fellow. 
When Mermaids frolick'd in the sea, 

And Puck made sport with maids in 

dairies ; 
When Oberon was Monarch still, 

And elves were elves, and fairies fairies. 

VI. 

But now the brats are getting dull, 
They yield no more a faith implicit ; 

And sages in their pinafores, 
Presume to start their doubts illicit 

Presume to reason with their sires ; 
And with unbaby-like persistence, 



Demand some actual proof to show 
Of elves and fames the existence. 

VII. 

Such child shall ne'er be pet of mine, 

Nor from my pocket coax the shilling, 
Nor top, nor doll shall it extort 

From my exchequer most unwilling. 
Give me a little child with faith, 

With purity and sweet reliance, 
And I'll applaud its ignorance 

Of all the ' ologies ' of science. 

VIII. 

Let Reason guide us in our teens, 

And never fail to light us after ; 
But, oh let children keep their faith, 

Their tears, their wonder, and their 

laughter. 
So shall their hearts be duly train'd ^ 

In opening life's appropriate season ; 
Nor Fancy, Sympathy, and Love 

Be stunted with the husks of Rea- 
son. 



THE PASSING CROWD. 



STANDING alone at the window, I watch the crowd of people, 
And study as they pass me the warp and woof of life; 

Woven with good and evil, with sorrow and rejoicing, 
With peace and true affection, with agony and strife. 



ii. 



I think as the old men saunter, of the pangs they must have suffer'd, 
In the hard up-mountain struggle, to the bare and frosty cope : 

Of their patience and endurance, and the victory snatch'd from Fortune, 
Out of the pangs of Death, or at best forlornest Hope. 



in. 



I think, neither sad nor happy, but fill'd with a vague surmising, 
That the young men strutting so proudly must run the self -same race ; 

No pity for the hindmost, and much applause for the foremost ; 
Applause and pity both idle, to the heart not right in its place. 



IV. 



I think as Lazarus passes, that perhaps he has had his chances, 
And knew not how to use them, to make himself rich and great, 

And lift himself up to the summit, too dizzy, perchance, to be envied, 
But proud enough to scorn all men of meaner estate. 



260 



LONDON LYRICS. 



I think that Dives flaunting his riches in the sunshine, 
May owe his gold to his fathers, not a penny to himself . 

And that all things taken together, men are but busy spiders ; 
That Fate the busier housewife leaves on, or sweeps oft the shelf. 



VI. 



And I neither laugh nor sigh at the rights or wrongs I witness ; 

I take the world as it comes, and would mend it, if I might. 
But as I cannot, I may not ; and so go home to my pillow, 

And wrap myself in the blankets, and wish the world good night ! 



AT A CLUB DINNER. 

THE OLD FOGIES. 

WE merry three 

Old fogies be ; 

The crow's-foot crawls, the wrinkle 
comes, 

Our heads grow bare 

Of the bonnie brown hair, 
Our teeth grow shaky in our gums. 
Gone are trie joys that once we knew, 
Over the green, and under the blue, 
Our blood runs calm, as calm can be, 
And we're old fogies fogies three. 

Yet if we be 

Old fogies three, 
The life still pulses in our veins ; 

And if the heart 

Be dull'd in part, 

There's sober wisdom in our brains. 
We may have heard that Hope's a 

knave, 

And Fame a breath beyond the grave. 
But what of that if wiser grown, 
We make the passing day our own, 
And find true joy where joy can be, 
And live our lives, though fogies three? 



Ay though we be 
Old' 



Old fogies three, 
We're not so dull'd as not to dine ; 

And not so old 

As to be cold 

To wit, to beauty, and to wine. 
Our hope is less, our memory more ; 
Our sunshine brilliant as of yore. 
At four o'clock 'twixt noon and night, 
; Tis warm as morning and as bright. 



And every age bears blessings free, 
Though we're old fogies fogies three. ' 

CLOS VOUGEOT. 

Vhen happy skylarks soar and sing, 
To welcome back the tardy spring, 
And daisies peep and roses blow, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot ! 

.Vhen summers breathe the promise free 
Of bounteous vines and grapes to be, 
And autumns pay what summers owe, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot ! 

When ice-bound streams in darkness 

creep, 

And Nature dreams in wintry sleep, 
And Norland tempests whirl the snow, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot ! 

When friends are shy because I'm poor, 
And hint they knew my ruin sure, 
And half the world becomes my foe, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot ! 

When wealth comes flooding to my hand, 
And boon companions understand, 
That round my board the wine-cups flow, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot ! 

When I am hale, and fresh, and strong, 
And Time runs merry as my song, 
To keep the fire at healthful glow, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot ! 

When grief and care my senses clutch, 
And Fancy flies at Sorrow's touch ; 
And life's machine runs dull and slow, 
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot i 



LET THE DONKEYS BRAY. 



261 



THE JOLLY COMPANIONS. 
I. 

Jolly companions ! three times three ! 
Let us confess what fools we be ! 
We eat more dinner than hunger craves, 
We drink our passage to early graves, 
And fill, and swill, till our foreheads 

burst, 
For sake of the wine, and not of the 

thirst. 

Jolly companions ! three times three, 
Let us confess what fools we be ! 

ii. 

We toil and moil from morn to night 
Slaves and drudges in health's despite, 
Gathering and scraping painful gold 
To hoard and garner till we're old ; 
And die, mayhap, in middle prime, 
Loveless, joyless, all our time. 
Jolly companions ! three times three, 
Let us confess what fools we be ! 

in. 

Or else we leave our warm fireside, 
Friends and comrades, bairns and bride, 
To mingle in the world's affairs, 
And vex our souls with public cares ; 
And have our motives misconstrued, 
Reviled, malign'd, misunderstood. 
Jolly companions ! three times three, 
Let us confess what fools we be ! 



HAPPINESS. 

i. 

I'VE drunk good wine 

From Rhone and Rhine, 

And fill'd the glass 

To friend or lass 

Mid jest and song, 

The gay night long, 

And found the bowl 

Inspired the soul, 

With neither wit nor wisdom richer 
Than comes from water in the pitcher. 

ii. 

I've ridden far 
In coach and car, 
Sped four-in-hand 
Across the land ; 
On gallant steed 
Have measured speed, 



With the summer wind 

That lagg'd behind ; 
But found more joy for days together 
In tramping o'er the mountain heather. 

in. 

I've dined, long since, 

With king and prince, 

In solemn state, 

Stiff and sedate ; 

And wish'd I might 

Take sudden flight 

And dine alone 

Unseen, unknown, 
On a mutton chop and a hot potato, 
Reading my Homer, or my Plato. 

IV. 

It comes to this, 

The truest bliss 

For great or small 

Is free to all ; 

Like the fresh air, 

Like flowerets fair, 

Like night or day, 

Like work or play ; 
And books that charm or make us 

wiser, 
Are better comrades than a Kaiser. 



LET THE DONKEYS BRAY ! 

i. 

WHEN Goggle, self-styled 'man of men/ 
Abuses all who wield the pen, 
And evermore with clamours loud, 
Reviles the literary crowd, 
And hunts for faults with greedy looks, 
In lives of authors or their books ; 
What shall poor Goggle's listeners say? 
The man's a donkey, let him bray ! 

ii. 

When Snivel, every Sunday morn, 
Holds good and pious men to scorn, 
And in Ms pulpit stamps and raves, 
To damn the souls that Mercy saves, 
And shuts with groans the gates of 

heaven 

On his opponents unforgiven, 
Why vex our hearts, 'tis Snivel's way 
The man's a donkey, let him Iray ! 



LONDON LYRICS. 



m. 

When Snarley pleads the murderer's 

cause. 

And murderer's money oils his jaws, 
Though to his private ear, well-fee'd, 
The wretch confess'd his guilty deed, 
And calls on Heaven, with sob and cry, 
To bear him witness to a lie ; 
What shall the outraged public say : 
The man's a donkey, let him bray! 



IV. 

When Cleaver prates the livelong night, 
At vestry-boards on wrong and right, 
Proclaims himself, with solemn nod, 
The pauper's friend the parish god, 
And says no man, whoe'er he be, 
Can regulate the world but he, 
Let no one answer Cleaver * Nay' : 
The man's a donkey, let him bray ! 



THE COMING TIME. 

' What shall I do to be for ever known, 
And make the age to come mine own?' '. 
COWLEY. 

WHAT thou shalt do to be for ever known ? 
Poet or statesman look with steadfast gaze, 

And see yon giant Shadow 'mid the haze, 
Far off, but coming. Listen to the moan 
That sinks and swells in fitful under-tone, 

And lend it words, and give the shadow form ; 
And see the Light, now pale and dimly shown, 

That yet shall beam resplendent after storm. 
Preach thou their coming, if thy soul aspire 

To be the foremost in the ranks of fame ; 
Prepare the way, with hand that will not tire, 

And tongue unfaltering, and o'er earth proclaim 
The Shadow, the ROUSED MULTITUDE ; the Cry, 
' JUSTICE FOB ALL ! 'the Light, TRUE LIBERTY. 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 1845-1875, 



THE OLD AND THE NEW* 



METHOUGHT on the JEgean strand 

I saw a mighty Spirit stand, 

Clad in his majesty alone ; 

His large fair brow seem'd Wisdom's 

throne, 
And from his face a glory shone. 

ii. 

Another Spirit, great as he, 
Stood by the far-off Northern Sea ; 
Erect his port, sublime his air ; 
Restless he seem'd, and full of care, 
But godlike, and divinely fair. 



in. 
between 



And though between them, as they 

stood, 

All Europe stretch'd its plenitude 
Of populous lands ; and mountains cold 
Raised their bare peaks, and oceans 

roll'd, 
Each could the other's face behold. 

IV. 

Each could with each hold converse 

high, 

And mingle voices in the sky ; 
Sounding far off, not loud, but clear, 
Upon my senses fill'd with fear 
As from some interlunar sphere. 



' Men,' said the first, ' inspired by thee, 
Talk of their high philosophy ; 
Their skill, their science, and their laws ; 
Their tracing of effect to cause ; 
Their arts that win the world's applause ; 



VI. 



' Their happy progress evermore, 
From good to better than before ; 
Their new discoveries sublime ; 
Their knowledge spread from clime to 

clime; 
Then: triumphs over space and tune. 



VII. 

'They vaunt their manners pure and 

mild, 

And their religion undefiled ; 
While all the good that I have wrought 
Is banish'd from their daily thought, 
Or, if remember'd, set at nought. 

vm. 

* Yarn of their progress, they contemn 
All arts that have not sprung from 

them; 

And, swoll'n with pride, they cannot see, 
If I were not, thou couldst not be, 
And that the fruit proclaims the tree/ 

IX. 

' Nay ! ' said the second ; ' 'tis not so ; 
They give the reverence which they 

owe: 

Thy memories are the theme of schools 
Thy maxims are their daily rules ; 
And none despise thee but the fools. 

x, 

' They own with wonder and with awe 
Thine ancient wisdom as their law; 
And that thy glories still inspire 
The sweetest music of the lyre. 
And steep its chords in heavenly fire; 



264 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



XI. 

' That all the arts which most refine, 

And make humanity divine, 

Were caught from thee; and that the 

page 

Which tells thy deeds from age to age, 
Is of itself an 'heritage. 



* That an immortal beauty girds 
Thy form, and sanctifies thy words ; 
And that thy very name can raise 
Visions that fill us with amaze, 
From the abyss of former days ; 

XIII. 

' That mighty glimpses of the truth 
Flash'd in the fancies of thy youth ; 
And that thy errors, darkly bright, 
Were not all error, even in sight 
Of those who know a purer light. 

XIV. 

' All this they see, but cannot own 
Thou wert perfection overthrown ; 
Or that as Time, with onward pace, 
Removes old systems from their place, 
Thou art the best for eveiy race. 

xv. 

' They will not own that for the few 
The toil of millions should be due 
Or that the multitudes of man. 
Mere serfs and helots in thy plan, 
Should groan for ever under ban ; 

XVI. 

1 That thou shouldst grind them at thy 

will, 

And at thy pleasure maim or kill ; 
Or make them build thy columns high, 
Or pyramids to dare the sky ; 
Or force them in thy broils to die. 

XVII. 

'They know, though beauteous and re- 

fined, 

Thou wert a scourge to humankind ; 
And they rejoice thy power has pass'd, 
And that the time has come at last 
When chains must fall, however fast ; 

XVIII. 

* And when the many, wearied long, 
Borne down by tyranny and wrong, 



May lift their heads and look around, 
Proud of the knowledge lately found, 
They are not serfs upon the ground ; 



XIX. 

4 But freemen, heritors by birth t 
Of all enjoyments of the earth ; j 
Free not alone to till the soil, 
But to partake the fruits of toil 
The corn, the vintage, and the oil ; 

xx. 

' Free not alone, as Nature meant, 
To live their life, and die content ; 
But free to teach, and to be taught, 
To read the Book with wisdom fraught, 
To think and interchange their 
thought.' 

XXI. 

* Ay,' said the first, 'tis brightly drawn 
Thou'st made a Noontide of the Dawn ; 
For wheresoe'er I turn mine eyes 

I see a crowd of agonies 
I hear the murmurs that arise. 

XXII. 

'Though great thy triumphs, greater 

still 

The aggregate of human ill ; 
And narrow, narrow is the span 
On which, to bless the sons of man, 
The tide of effort ever ran. 

XXIII. 

' Look round the nations and compare- 
Examine that thou mayst declare 
What vast improvement has begun, 
And what two thousand years have done 
For those who toil beneath the sun. 

XXIV. 

' The people grovelTd in my prime 
They grovel in thy happier time ; 
And suff'ring then they suffer now : 
And if 7 left them slaves, hast thou 
Imprinted freedom on their brow ? 

XXV. 

* Hast thou giv'n virtue to the base, 
Or flash'd thy knowledge in their face ? 
Hast thou convey'd to every shore 
The tidings thy Messiah bore, 

That Peace should reign for evermore ? 






THE OLD AND THE NEW. 



265 



XXVI. 

* Hast thou, in lands supremely bless'd 
With thy refinements, done thy best 
To ease the ills thou canst not cure, 
To teach the wretched to endure, 
And shower thy blessings on the poor?' 

XXVII. 

* I am but young,' the Spirit said ; 
' But yesterday I raised my head, 
And late began to understand 

A mere new-comer in the land 
What was expected at my hand. 

XXVIII. 

' The mission unfulfill'd by thee 
Has gain'd some impetus from me ; 
And every triumph of thy mind, 
Not unforgotten for mankind, 
Has been led further and refined. 

XXIX. 

'Though narrow yet the sphere of 

thought, 

It has been widen'd since I wrought ; 
And every seed which thou hast sown 
For human benefit, has grown, 
And larger leaves and branches thrown, 

XXX. 

' Beneath my care. And though dark 

night 

May spread a veil o'er human sight, 
I see far off the dawning ray : 
I labour to prepare the way, 
And watch the coming of the day/ 

XXXI. 

And as the Spirit spoke, his eyes 
Flash'd heavenly fire and to the skies 
Pointing his hand he turn'd to me, 
And said ' Thou dreamer, wake and see 
The Paradise that earth might be ! ' 

XXXII. 

As one upon a mountain-top, 
Standing alone, whom mists enwrap 
So densely, that he seeks in vain 
Amid the cloud of sleet and rain 
To see the wonders of the plain, 

xxxni. 

Shouts when he sees the cloud dis- 
persed, 
And in full glory at one burst, 



A world disclosed hill, valley, town, 
Glittering in sunlight miles adown 
River and lake and highlands brown ; 

XXXIV. 

So I, in ecstasy and awe, 
Look'd up believing, and I saw 
That from mine eyes a mist was roll'd, 
That heaven was bright as burnish'd 

gold, 
And earth had visions to unfold. 

xxxv. 

I saw the world before me pass ; 
As in some great magician's glass 
The adept sees phantasmas, dim 
To all men else, but clear to him, 
As in the light and shade they swim ; 

xxxvi. 

So I beheld the mighty Earth 
Rolling through ether ; all its girth 
Exhaling glory. O'er my sight 
Flow'd the full tide of heavenly light, 
Until the view seem'd infinite. 

XXXVII. 

All happy were its populous lands ; 
Therein no man with willing hand 
Needed to pine for want of bread; 
For the full banquet that was spread 
Allow'd all creatures to be fed. 

XXXVIII. 

And toil, a burden borne by man 
In sorrow since the world began, 
No more his tender bones oppress'd, 
Or bow'd his head upon his breast, 
Until supremest joy was rest. 

xxxix. 

But iron servants wrought his will, 
Great engines fashion'd by his skill 
For every art -to spin to coil 
To delve the mine, to till the soil, 
And free the human race from toil. 

XL. 

And not alone by vapour driven, 
But by the storms and calms of heaven 
By winds, however they might blow, 
And by the tides in ebb or flow. 
The mighty wheels went to and fro. 

XLI. 

The nearest and remotest lands 
Were foes no more, but join'd their hands 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



For mutual happiness and peace ; 
And bade their old dissensions cease, 
That they might flourish and increase. 



XLII. 



Too wise for bloodshed, War no more 
Made, demons of them as before; 
Religion sow'd no poison-seed 
None wish'd his neighbour evil speed, 
Or bore him malice for his creed. 

XLIII. 

But as I look'd with tearful eyes- 
Tears sprung of joys and sympathies 
The colours of my vision grew 
Many in one ; and hue with hue 
Was blent, and faded from my view. 

XLIV. 
And a still voice said to my heart 

* Though but a dream thou seest depart, 
And great the load of actual ill, 
Hope in thy waking labour still 
Deeds are fruition of the will. 

XLV. 

* The smallest effort is not lost ; 
Each wavelet on the ocean toss'd 
Aids in the ebb-tide or the flow ; 
Each rain-drop makes some. floVret 

blow; 
Each struggle lessens human woe.' 



TUBAL CAIN. 

i. 

OLD Tubal Cain was a man of might 

In the days when earth was young ; 
By the fierce red light of his furnace 

bright 

The strokes of his hammer rung ; 
And he lifted high his brawny hand 

On the iron glowing clear, 
Till the sparks rush'd out in scarlet 

showers, 

As he fashion'd the sword and spear. 
And he sang 'Hurra for my handi- 
work! 

Hurra for the Spear and Sword ! 
Hurra for the hand that shall wielc 

them well, 
For he shall be King and Lord ! ' 



IT. 

To Tubal Cam came many a one, 

As he wrought by his roaring fire, 
And each one pray'd for a strong steel 
blade 

As the crown of his desire ; , 
And he made them weapons sharp and 
strong, 

Till they shouted loud for glee, 
And gave him gifts of pearls and gold, 

And spoils of the forest free. 
And they sang * Hurra for Tubal Cain, 

Who hath given us strength anew ! 
Hurra for the smith, hurra for the fire, 

And hurra for the metal true ! ' 

in. 
But a sudden change cameVer his heart 

Ere the setting of the sun, 
And Tubal Cain was fill'd with pain 

For the evil he had done ; 
He saw that men, with rage and hate, 

Made war upon their kind, 
That the land was red with the blood 
they shed 

In their lust for carnage, blind. 
And he said ' Alas ! that ever I made, 

Or that skill of mine should plan, 
The spear and the sword for men whose 

Is to slay their fellow-man ! ' 

IV 

And for many a day old Tubal Cain 

Sat brooding o'er his woe ; 
And his hand forbore to smite the ore, 

And his furnace sraoulder'd low. 
But he rose at last with a cheerful face, 

And a bright courageous eye, 
And bared his strong right arm for work, 
While the quick flames mounted high. 
And he sang 'Hurra for my handi- 
work!' 

And the red sparks lit the air ; 
' Not alone for the blade was the bright 

steel made ;' 

And he fashion'd the First Plough- 
share ! 

v. 
And men, taught wisdom from the Past, 

In friendship join'd their hands, 
Hung the sword hi the hall, the spear on 

the w; all 
And plough'd the willing lands ; 



THE FOUNDING OF THE BELL. 



267 



And sang 'Hurra for Tubal Cain ! 

Our stanch good friend is he ; 
And for the ploughshare and the plough 

To him our praise shall be. 
But while Oppression lifts its head, 

Or a tyrant would be lord, 
Though we may thank him for the 

Plough, 
I We'll not forget the Sword ! ' 



THE FOUNDING OF THE BELL/ 



HARK ! how the furnace pants and roars, 
Hark ! how the molten metal pours, 
As, bursting from its iron doors, 

It glitters in the sun. 
Now through the ready mould it flows, 
Seething and hissing as it goes, 
And filling every crevice up 
As the red vintage fills the cup : 

Hurra ! the work is done ! 

ii. 

Unswathe him now. Take off each stay 
That binds him to his couch of clay, 
And let him struggle into day : 

Let chain and pulley run, 
With yielding crank and steady rope, 
Until he rise from rim to cope, 
In rounded beauty, ribb'd in strength. 
Without a flaw in all his length: 

Hurra ! the work is done ! 

in. 

The clapper on his giant side 

Shall ring no peal for blushing bride, 

For birth, or death, or new-year tide, 

Or festival begun ! 
A nation's joy alone shall be 
The signal for his revelry; 
And for a nation's woes alone 
His melancholy tongue shall moan : 

Hurra ! the work is done ! 



* When this Ballad was written, the author 
had not read Schiller's poem on the same sub- 
ject ; or it is possible and most probable 
that he would not have incurred the formida- 
ble risk of a comparison. 



IV. 

Borne on the gale, deep-toned and clear, 
His long loud summons shall we hear, 
When statesmen to then: country dear 

Their mortal race have run ; 
When mighty monarchs yield their 

breath, 

And patriots sleep the sleep of death, 
Then shall he raise his voice of gloom, 
And peal a requiem o'er their tomb : 

Hurra ! the work is done ! 

v. 

Should foemen lift their haughty hand, 
And dare invade us where we stand, 
Fast by the altars of our land 

We'll gather every one: 
And he shall ring the loud alarm, 
To call the multitudes to arm. 
From distant field and forest brown, 
And teeming alleys of the town : 

Hurra ! the work is done / 

VI. 

And as the solemn boom they hear, 
Old men shall grasp the idle spear, 
Laid by to rust for many a year, 

And to the struggle run ; 
Young men shall leave their toils or 

books, 

Or turn to swords their pruning-hooks ; 
And maids have sweetest smiles for those 
Who battle with their country's foes: 

Hurra 1 the work is done I 

VII. 

And when the cannon's iron throat 
Shall bear the news to dells remote, 
And trumpet-blast resound the note, 

That victory is won : 
When down the wind the banner drops 
And bonfires blaze on mountain-tops, 
His sides shall glow with fierce delight, 
And ring glad peals from morn to night: 

Hurra I the work is done I 

VIII. 

But of such scenes forbear to tell 
May never War awake this bell 
To sound the tocsin or the knell ; 

Hush'd be the alarum gun ; 
Sheath'd be the sword ! and may his 

voice 
But call the nations to rejoice 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



That War his tatter'd flag has furl'd, 
And vanish'd from a wiser world. 

Hurra I the work is done! 



IX. 



Still may he ring when struggles cease, 
Still may he ring for joy's increase, 
For progress in the arts of peace, 

And friendly trophies won ; 
When rival nations join their hands. 
When plenty crowns the happy lands, 
When Knowledge gives new blessings 

birth. 
And freedom reigns o'er all the earth. 

Hurra ! the work is done ! 



LIFE'S COMPANIONS, 
i. 

WHEN I set sail on Life's young voyage, 

'Twas upon a stormy sea : 
But to cheer me night and day, 
Through the perils, of the way, 

With me went companions three 
Three companions kind and faithful, 

True as friend and dear as bride ; 
Heedless of the stormy weather, 
Hand in hand they came together, 
t Ever smiling at my side. 

ii. 
One was HEALTH, my lusty comrade, 

Cherry-cheek'd and stout of limb ; 
Though my board was scant of cheer, 
And my drink but water clear, 

I was thankful, bless'd with him. 
One was mild-eyed PEACE OP SPIRIT, 

Who, though storms the welkin swept, 
Waking gave me calm reliance, 
And though tempests howl'd defiance, 

Smoothed my pillow when I slept. 

in. 

One was HOPE, my dearest comrade, 
1 Never absent from my breast, 
Brightest in the darkest days, 
Kindest in the roughest ways, 
i Dearer far than all the rest. 
And though neither Wealth nor Sta- 
tion 

Journey'd with me o'er the sea, 
Stout of heart, all danger scorning, 
Nought cared I in Life's young morning 
vFor their lordly company. 



IV. 

But, alas ! ere night has darsen'd, 

I have lost companions twain ; 
And the third, with tearful eyes, 
Worn and wasted, often flies, 

But as oft returns again. 
And, instead of those departed, 

Spectres twain around me flit ; 
Pointing each, with shadowy finger, 
Nightly at my couch they linger ; 

Daily at my board they sit. 

v. 
Oh, that I so blindly follow'd 

In the hot pursuit of Wealth ! 
Though I've gain'd the prize of gold, 
Eyes are dim, and blood is cold 

I have lost my comrade, HEALTH. 
CARE instead, the wither'd beldam, i 

Steals th' enjoyment from my cup : 
Hugs me, that I cannot quit her ; 
Makes mv choicest morsels bitter ; 

Seals the founts of pleasure up. 

VI. 

Woe is me that Fame allured me 

She so false, and I so blind ! 
Sweet her smiles, but in the chase 
I have lost the happy face 

Of my comrade PEACE OP MIND ; 
And instead, REMORSE, pale phantom, 

Tracks my feet where'er I go ; 
All the day I see her scowling, 
In my sleep I hear her howling, 

Wildly flitting to and fro. 

VII. 

Last of all my dear companions, 

HOPE ! sweet Hope ! befriend me yet. 
Do not from my siae depart, 
Do not leave my lonely neart 

All to darkness and regret. 
Short and sad is now my voyage 

O'er a gloom-encompass'd sea, 
But not cheerless altogether, 
Whatsoe'er the wind and weather, 

Will it seem, if bless'd with thee. 

VIII. 

Dim thine eyes are, turning earthwards, 
Shadowy pale, and thin thy form : 
Tum'd to Heaven thine eyes grow bright, 
All thy form expands in light, 
Soft and beautiful and warm. 



CASTLES IN THE AIR. 



269 



Look then upwards! lead me heaven- 
wards ! 

Guide me o'er the darkening sea ! 
Pale Remorse shall fade before me, 
And the gloom shall brighten o'er me, 

If I have a friend in Thee. 



CASTLES IN THE AIR. 



I LOVE to lie in leafy woods, 
When summer days STOW long, 
To hear the fall 
Of brooklets small, 
Or blackbirds' mellow song : 
To watch the dapple clouds afloat, 
And trace upon the sky, 
In hues of light, 
All golden bright, 
A thousand castles high. 
Stay, Truth ! thy hand relentless, 

And, I prithee, spare 
My bowers of Bliss so beautiful 
My castles in the air ! 

ir. 

In one abides unchanging Love ; 
No guile is on his tongue, 
His heart is clear, 
His vow sincere, 
His passion ever young : 
And Care and Penury and Pain 
Are powerless to destroy 
His early heat, 
Communion sweet, 
And still recurring joy. 
Smooth, Truth ! thy brow majestic, 

And in pity spare 
My bower of Love so beautiful 
My castle in the air ! 

in. 

True Friendship, in my sky-built halls, 
Her presence has bestowM ; 
Each airy dome 
Is Virtue's home, 
And Honour's own abode ; 
And there they flourish evermore, 
And twine together still, 

Though fortune blind, 
And men unkind, 
Conspire to work them ill. 



Prithee, Truth, look down auspicious, 

Stay thine hand, and spare 
My bower, for Faith and Friendship 
built 

My castle in the air ! 

IV. 

The statesmen, governors, and kings, 
That in my mansions dwell, 
Desire not pelf, 
Nor think of self, 
But love their country well. 
They give to Merit just reward, 
To Guilt befitting shame, 

And shower on Worth, 
And not on Birth, 
The dignities of fame. 
Truth, I prithee, stay thine auger, 

And my buildings spare, . 
My bowers for Public Virtue built 
My castles in the air ! 

v. 

Smile on them, Truth ! ^ behold how 

bright 

They glitter hi the skies. 
Behold how proud, 
O'er mist and cloud, 
Their golden turrets rise. 
But no ! thou frownest, and in vain 
Thine angry looks I shun : 
My castles tall 
Down crumbling fall, 
Like ice-drops in the sun. 
Thou hast destro/d my visions lovely, 

All my mansions fair, 
My bowers of Bliss so beautiful 
My castles in the air ! 



A CANDID WOOING. 



I CANNOT give thee all my heart, 

Lady, lady 
My faith and country claim a part, 

My sweet lady : 

But yet I'll pledge thee word of mine 
That all the rest is truly thine. 



270 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



The raving passion of a boy, 
Warm though it be, will quickly cloy- 
Confide thou rather in the man 
Who vows to love thee all he can, 
My sweet lady. 



n. 



Affection, founded on respect, 

Lady, lady, 
Can never dwindle to neglect, 

My sweet lady. 

And while thy gentle virtues live, 
Such is the love that I will give. 
The torrent leaves its channel dry ; 
The brook runs on incessantly : 



The storm of passion lasts a day, 
But deep true love endures alway, 
My sweet lady. 

in. 
Accept then a divided heart, 

Faith, Friendship, Honour, each have 
part, 

My sweet lady. 
While at one altar we adore, 
Faith shall but make us love the more ; 
And Friendship, true to all beside, 
Will ne'er be fickle to a bride ; 
And Honour, based on manly truth, 
Shall love in age as well as youth, 

My sweet lady ! 



REAL AND IDEAL. 



A FRAGMENT. 



Two friends were sitting in a chamber fair, 
Hung round with pictures, and in every nook 

Fill'd with choice tomes and busts and marbles rare. 
One sat apart and one with listless look 
Turn'd o'er, unread, the pages of a book ; 

Both young and one who seem'd with sadness fraught, 

Thus to the other breathed his secret thought. 

ii. 

1 I'm weary, Basil, of this ceaseless din : 
The world hath beat against my heart, and worn 

By the rude contact of its vice and sin, 
The purity and freshness of its morn ; 
Tutor' d in callousness, adept in scorn, 

Virtue and Friendship, Honour, Love, and Fame, 

Are things to me no more, each dwindled to a name. 

in. 

4 I'm weary of the world, and daily sigh 
For some green resting-place some forest cave, 

Guarded by distance from the intruding eye 
Of civil fool and sycophantic knave 
With none to flatter me, and cringe and crave 

For driblets of the gold which I despise, 

And all who ask it with their fawning eyes. 



REAL AND IDEAL. 271 



IV. 

' I'm weary of this pomp and ceaseless thrall, 
And pine for peace in wild woods far away ; 

Though gold the fetters, still they chafe and gall ; 
Though jewel-hilted, still the sword will slay; 
Though set with diamonds of the richest ray, 

The glittering cup that held the poison-draught 

Provides no antidote to him who quaff' d. 

v. 

* I will away, and hide me in a bower ; 

Or roam the forest, climb the mountain-peak, 
Or muse by waterfalls at evening's hour, 
Or count the blushes on the morning's cheek, 
Or in deep silence of the midnight seek 
Communion with the stars, that I may know 
How petty is this ball oil which we come and go. 

VI. 

' That I may learn what maggots on a crust 
Are men on earth ; and then, perchance, I may 

Find some revival of forgotten trust, 

Some flower of faith fast fading to decay. 
." Here in these hollow crowds, heart-sick I stray 

And mid a void and all my days I grieve 

That nothing more is left me to believe. 

VII. 

' Love ? It is bought for miserable gold. 
The fairest creature that the earth e'er saw, 

^Fashion'd in beauty's most delicious mould, 
Modest, accomplish'd, pure without a flaw, 
Would sell herself, with proper form of law, 

For half my wealth ; or ogle to trepan 

A Negro Croesus, or a Mussulman. 

VIII. 

' Friendship ? Like midges on a beam, the horde 

Throng numberless ; and every man pretends 
My virtues only lure him to my board 
He hath no selfish interest, no ends 
To serve but mine. Oh kind, oh generous friends ! 
What would ye do should all my ducats fail I- 
Fail too dissolving like the summer hail. 

IX. 

* Fame ? It is pleasant but alas ! not worth 

The panting and the toiling to acquire. 
Is any object on this paltry earth 
So great, that man should waste his soul of fire, 
And carry in his heart the_fierce desire 



272 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

For threescore years, then die without the prize, 
Which fools, meantime, have snatch'd before his eyes ? 



/What is there left ? Long studied in the schools 
Of doubt and disbelief, my faith is dead : 

I've measured God by algebraic rules, 
And in a maze of logic long misled, 
Having no faith, have set up Chance instead ; 

Sought refuge in denial, to revolve 

No more the problem which I cannot solve. 

XL 

* I'm weary, weary, and would be alone, 

Away from cities and their stifling crowd, 
Far from the scenes where Folly on her throne, 

For rich and poor, for simple and for proud, 

Utters her laws and proclamations loud. 
I'm weary and will hence, and hide in woods, 
And feed on quiet in their solitudes.' 

XII. 

* What ?' said his friend 4 Thou, Julian ! steep'd in wealth, 

The young, the handsome, and the nobly born, 
Endow d with choicest gifts of strength and health 
Dost thou indulge this misanthropic scorn, 
And rail at Fortune in thy youth s fair morn ? 
And turn disgusted from enjoyment's cup, 
With its rich liquor bubbling ever up ? 

XIII. 

' Arouse thee from this lethargy of soul 
Shake off the weight that bears thy spirit down 

'Tis but the offspring of the extra bowl 
We drain'd last night. Smooth from thy brow the frown, 
There hangs a gloom on the expectant town 

When thou art sad : Come, be thyself again, 

Nor with the lore of fools bedull thy brain. 

XIV. 

* Hear my pliilpsophy, and weigh with thine 

The truer wisdom that my tongue shall teach :- - 
Not ever shall our noon of manhood shine, 

Nor pleasure woo us with entrancing speech ; 

Not ever shall our arms have power to reach 
The golden fruit, that hangs on every bough, 
In the fair garden where we wander now. 

xv. 

* Short on the earth is our allotted time, 

And short our leisure to lament and weep j 



HEAL AND IDEAL 273 

Nature, all bounteous, deems denial crime, 

And sows a harvest for the wise to reap. 

So fill the goblet high but drain not deep ; 
And if at morn you toil, at evening rest 
To-day's denial is to-morrow's zest. 



* Be temperate only to enjoy the more 
So shall no dainty on thy palate pall ; 

And cease with fools and bigots to deplore 
That earth's no heaven, and man not perfect all : 
Still make the best of whatsoe'er befall, 

Nor rail at fortune, though the iade is blind, 

Nor launch thy bitter- scorn on humankind. 

XVII. 

' Hope little thou wilt be the less deceived 
In Love and Friendship be thy rule the same : 

And if by Julia's cruelty aggrieved, 
At Laura's altar light another flame, 
And if she scorn thee, swear by Dora's name ; 

Nor cling to either with so fond a heart 

That it would cause thee half a pang to part. 

XVIII. 

' For passion is the bane of mortal bliss, 
The flame that scorches not the ray that cheers ; 

And every tragedy but teaches this 
Who sows hi passion, reaps in blood and tears ; 
And he who to his soul too much endears 

The sweetest, best, and fairest of her kind, 

But makes a despot to enthral his mind. 

XIX. 

'Nor let thy savage virtue take offence 
If friends should love thee better rich than poor ; 

It may be feeling, but it is not sense 
Ripeness of heart, but judgment immature 
To look for friendship that shall aye endure ; 

Or think the lamp would show the same bright ray 

Should the oil fail, and riches melt away. 

xx. 

' Nor let desire of Fame perplex thy thought- 
Poor are the objects that Ambition seeks. 

The applause of dunces is too dearly bought 
By nerveless limbs, care-deaden'd eyes, and cheeks 
Furrow'd before their time by aged streaks ; 

And the true wisdom never stops to weigh 

A shadowy Morrow with a real To-day. 
18 



374 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



XXI. 

' Eiy oy the present gild the passing hour- 
Nor drain the cup ; nor fill it to the brim ; 

For us shall Beauty open wide her bower, 
And sparkling eyes in tender languor swim ; 
For us shall joy awake the jubilant hymn ; 

And round us gather every young delight 

That wealth can buy, for taste, or touch, or sight/ 

XXII. 

' No, Basil, no I pine for a belief ; 
I'm wearied with my doubts, and fain would rest. 

Long have I clutch'd, in bitterness and grief, 
At all these phantoms, beautifully drest 
In colours brighter than the rainbow's vest. 

No, my friend Basil not in these I trust, 

Begun in folly, ending in disgust. 

XXIII. 

* My soul, long darken'd, languishes for light 

And with an utterance labours night and day. 

I see a vision dawning on my sight, 
I hear a music faint and far away 
I hear a voice which says, ' Not all of clay 

Thy mortal being raise thyself, clod ! 

Look up, finite, infinite in God.' 

xxrv. 

* Oh, that I could believe ! oh, that my soul 

Could trust in something, and my weary mind 
Burst all unfetter'd from the dull control 
Of doubt, that thinks it sees, but still is blind 
That I could cling to some one of my kind 
Some gentle soul whose love might be the ray 
To lead me to belief, and brighten all the way. 

XXV. 

* Faith shall be born of Love oh, happy pair ! 

Would ye but smile upon my darkening road 
No more my heart, imprison' d by despair. 
Should find its sympathies too great a load, 
Doubtful alike of self, of kind, of God. 
I will away from all this pomp and jar, 
And commune with my soul in solitudes afar.' 



['The full development of the idea on which this fragment is based will be found in tho 
poem entitled Egeria.'j 



LOST 



WON. 



275 



LITTLE FOOLS AND GREAT 
ONES. 



WHEN at the social board you sit, 

And pass around the wine, 
Remember, though abuse is wrong, 

That use may be divine : 
That Heaven, in kindness, gave the 
grape 

To cheer both great and small 
That little fools will drink too much, 

But great ones not at all. 

ii. 

And when in youth's too fleeting hours 

You roam the earth alone, 
And have not sought some loving heart 
! That you may make your own : 
Remember woman's priceless worth, 

And think, when pleasures pall 
That little fools will love too much, 

But great ones not at all. 

in. 

And if a friend deceived you once, 
Absolve poor humankind, 



Nor rail against your fellow-man 

With malice in your mind ; 
But in your daily intercourse, 

Remember, lest you fall 
That little fools confide too much, 

But great ones not at all. 

IV. 

In weal or woe be trustful still ; 

And in the deepest care 
Be bold and resolute, and shun 

The coward foe Despair. 
Let work and hope go nand in hand ; 

And know, whate er befall 
That little fools may hope too much, 

But great ones not at all. 

v. 

In work or pleasure, love or drink, 

Your rule be still the same 
Your work not toil, your pleasure pure, 

Your love a steady flame ; 
Your drink not maddening, but to 
cheer ; 

So shall your bliss not pall, 
For little fools enjoy too much, 

But great ones not at all. 



LOST AND WON. 



AN idler, on the shady sward extended, 

Lay listless on a summer's afternoon : 
Thick boughs and numerous leaves above him blended 

Into an arch, through which the beams were strewn 
Upon the grass, like ripples on a river ; 

There was a sleepy loveliness around, 
The quiet winds scarce caused the leaves to quiver, 

And vagrant bees flew by with drowsy sound. 



IT. 



Too full of life for sleep too calm for waking, 
The place seem'd fit for dreamer such as he, 

Who, worldly thoughts and haunts of men forsaking, 
Resign'd himself to lazy luxury. 



276 8ALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

His thoughts were shapeless as the winds, and wander'd 

Afar in cloud-land, void of all intent ; 
His eyes now closed, as if on self he ponderM, 

Now open to the leaves and firmament. 

in. 

Waking or sleeping, or if day or morrow, 

He knew not but he saw seven ladies fair 
Beside him, with pale cheeks and looks of sorrow, 

And tearful eyes and long dishevelTd hair : 
He knew them, and a deep remorse came o'er him, 

A shame of self that he nad done them wrong ; 
While with reproachful looks they stood before him, 

And one broke forth into this mournful song : 

IV. 

* Listen,' she said, ' and hear the wrong thou'st done us, 

And the false deeds thou'st wrought against thy soul ; 
The summer winds shall breathe no more upon us, 

We're gone our place is filPd we've reach'd the goal. 
Our melancholy faces look not sunward, 

But back in shadow ; and, oh ! never more 
Can we return to thee to help thee onward, 

And bring thee gladness as we brought before. 

v. 

* We stayed with thee Ion? time, with power to aid thee, 

Hadst thou but struggled with an earnest mind, 
To do such noble deeds as might have made thee 

Stand in the foremost ranks of humankind. 
We could have fill'd thy cup to overflowing^ 

If worldly Wealth found favour in thy sight ; 
If Fame inspired, we could have led thee glowing 

Up the steep summit, to her topmost height 

VI. 

* If Love of Knowledge fired thee to pursue her. 

We could have help'd thee to her courts to climb 
Smooth'd the rough pathway lent thee words to woo her, 

And turn'd the pages of her book sublime. 
If to be virtuous were thy sole ambition, 

We, day by day, had taught thee to excel ; 
Led thee to raise the wretched from perdition, 

And brought their blessings to reward thee well. 

VII. 

' All this, and more, if thou hadst duly prized us, 
For thee, life-waster, could our aid have done j 



LOVE AWEARY OF THE WORLD. 



277 



But thou hast scorn'd, neglected, and despised us, 
And we are powerless, and our course is run. 

We are but shadows, pallid and regretful, 
To whom no future can a form restore ; 

And bearing with us, from thy soul forgetful, 
The fair occasions that return no more.' 

VIII. 

Thus as she spake, his face in shame he cover'd ; 

And when he look'd again, he was alone. 
' DEPARTED YEARS, whose memory round me hover'd, 

For all the Past the Future shall atone/ 
He said and rising, cast away for ever 

The philosophic sloth that bound his soul ; 
Mix'd with mankind, and, strong with wise endeavour, 

Toil'd up the hill of Fame, and reach'd the goal. 



LOVE AWEARY OF THE WORLD. 



OH ! my love is very lovely, 

In her mind all beauties dwell ; 
She is robed in living splendour, 
Grace and modesty attend her, 

And I love her more than well. 
But I'm weary, weary, weary. 

To despair my soul is hurlM ; 
I am weary, weary, weary, 

I am weary of the world ! 

ii. 
She is kind to all about her, 

For her heart is pity's throne ; 
She has smiles for all men's gladness, 
She has tears for every sadness, 

She is hard to me alone. 
And I'm weary, weary, weary, 

From a love-lit summit hurl'd ; 
I am weary, weary, weary, 

I am weary of the world ! 

in. 
When my words are words of wisdom, 

All her spirit I can move ; 
At my wit her eyes will glisten, 
But she flies, and will not listen, 

If I dare to speak of love. 



Oh ! I'm weary, weary, weary. 

By a storm of passions whirl'd ; 
I am weary, weary, weary, 

I am weary of the world ! 

IV. 

True, that there are others fairer- 
Fairer 1 No, that cannot be 

Yet some maids of equal beauty, 

High in soul and firm in duty, 
May have kinder hearts than she. 

Why, my heart, so weary, weary. 
To and fro by passion whirl'd ? 

Why so weary, weary, weary, 
Why so weary of the world ? 

v. 

Were my love but passing fancy, 

To another I might turn ; 
But I'm dopm'd to love unduly 
One who will not answer truly, 

And who freezes when I burn ; 
And I'm weary, weary, weary, 

To despair my soul is hurl'd 
I am weary, weary, weary. 

I am weary of the worm J 



278 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



THE LOVER'S SECOND 

THOUGHTS ON WORLD- 

WEARINESS. 

i. 

HEART ! take courage ! 'tis not worthy 

For a woman's scorn to pine : 
If her cold indifference wound thee, 
There are remedies around thee 

For such malady as thine. 
Be no longer weary, weary, 

From thy love-lit summits hurl'd ; 
Be no longer weary, weary, 

Weary, weary of the world ! 

ii. 

If thou must be loved by woman, 

Seek again the world is wide ; 
It is full of loving creatures. 
Fair in form, and mind, and features 

Choose among them for thy bride. 
Be no longer weary, weary. 

To and fro by passion whirl'd : 
Be no longer weary, weary, 

Weary, weary 01 the world ! 

in. 
Or if Love should lose thy favour, 

Try the paths of honest fame, 
Climb Parnassus' summit hoary, 
Carve thy way by deeds of glory, 

Write on History's page thy name. 
Be no longer weary, weary, 

To the depths of sorrow hurl'd ; 
Be no longer weary, weary, . 

Weary, weary of the world ! 

IV. 

Or if these shall fail to move thee, 

Be the phantoms unpursued, 
Try a charm that will not fail thee 
When old age and grief assail thee 

Try the charm of doing good. 
Be no longer weak and weary. 

By the storms of passion wliirl'd ; 
Be no longer weary, weary, 

Weary, weary of the world ! 



Love is fleeting and uncertain, 

And can hate where it adored ; 
Chase of glory wears the spirit, 
Fame not always follows merit, 
Goodness is its own reward. 



Be no longer weary, weary, 
From thy happy summits hurl'd ; 

Be no longer weary, weary, 
Weary, weary of the world 1 



THE DROP OF WATER, 



ALONE, amid a million souls. 
Round him the tide of people rolls ; 
But lorn and desolate is he, 
None heeding what his lot may be 
A drop of water in the sea. 

ii. 

'Mid 'all the crowds that round him 

swarm, 

He feels for him no heart will warm ; 
There is not one that knows his name, 
Or cares to ask him whence he came ; 
His life or death to them the same. 

in. 

The rich man's chariot passes by, 
And lackeys with a saucy eye, 
From outside plush and inward meals, 
Grin at him, as the rattling wheels 
Splash him all o'er, from head to heels. 

IV. 

He walketh on, a friendless boy, 
With much of hope, with little joy; 
Elbpw'd for ever by the proud. 
As if they grudged the room allowM 
To this mean mortal in the crowd. 

v. 

On through the busy mass he goes, 
But whither bent he scarcely knows ; 
Through lane and street, and park and 

square, 

And looks at wealth he may not share, 
Though he is hungry and half -bare. 

VI. 

For him amid these houses small 
For him amid these mansions tall, 
There is not one, where he could go, 
And say, ' I am a child of woe ; 
To cheer me, let the wine-cup flow.' 

VII. 

No ; he is friendless and alone 
To no one are his sorrows known 



TEE DROP OF WATER.' 



279 



His hope, or joy, or grief, or fear, 
There is not one would care to hear, 
Or say the word, ' Be thou of cheer ! ' 



VIII. 

And evil thoughts will sometimes rise, 
When flaunting wealth affronts his eyes ; 
Envy, perchance, and discontent, 
That he into this world was sent 
No good with all his evils blent. 

IX. 

'No good?' saith he. 'Ah, surely 

wrong ! 

Fresh health and youth to me belong ; 
And from endurance I can learn 
Still to endure, and never turn 
From the high thoughts with which I 

burn.' 

x. 
And still within himself he says, 

* Each man must pass his evil days 
Each man should suffer ere his prime, 
If up the world's high steeps he'd climb, 
Some grief to fit him for his time. 

XI. 

* I am not all alone nor sad ; 

The face of Nature makes me glad, 
The breath of morn, the evening's sigh, 
The contemplation of the sky, 
That fills my soul with yearnings 
high; 

XII. 

* The leafy glory of the woods, 
The rushing of the mountain floods, 
The wind that bends the lofty tree, 
The roaring of the eternal sea, 
All yield an hi ward joy to me. 

XIII. 

I find a pleasure in the sight 

Of meadows green and corn-fields 

bright ; 

I find a pleasure in the lay 
Of birds that hail the breaking day, 
Or warble to the moonlight gray. 

XIV. 

' If no man loves me, Nature's voice 
Is kind, and bids my heart rejoice : 
The path I go, true souls have trod ; 
I will look upwards from the clod, 
With a firm heart, and trust in God.' 



And thus he walks from hour to hour, 
From day to day, and gains new power 
Over himself ; and undismay'd, 
In conscious rectitude arrayed, 
He labours as his impulse bade. 



XVI. 



He looks on hardship, and it sinks ; 
He measures peril, and it shrinks ; 
Before him difficulties fly, 
Scared by that quietude of eye, 
Serene to suffer or defy. 

XVII. 

And still, 'mid the perennial strife 
With worldly things, that makes his life, 
He never plays the worldling's part, 
Or ever from his grateful heart 
Allows the freshness to depart. 

XVIII. 

Amid the city's ceaseless hum, 
Still to his soul the visions come 
Of the green woodlands far away, 
Where, in communion all the day 
With Nature, he was wont to stray. 

XIX. 

And mixing with his fellows, still 
He finds some good amid the ill ; 
And pitying those whose souls are blind, 
Nor hating those of evil mind. 
He learns to love all humankind. 

xx. 

To him all errors of the past 
Teach wisdom where his lot is cast ; 
And after struggles hard and long, 
With self, and with temptation strong, 
And pride that sought to lead him 
wrong, 

XXI. 

He learns this truth ; that nought below 
Can lasting recompense bestow 
But Virtue ; that the Love of Fame 
Is something better than a name, 
If Love of virtue feed its flame; 

XXII. 

That to the mind not mured in self, 
Nor toiling for the love of pelf, 
Wealth may be worth its cost of brain, 
That gives the power to solace pain, 
And lift the fallen up again. 



280 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



XXIII. 

Take courage, ye who wander here, 
Lonely and sad, and be of cheer ! 
This man, who had no aids to climb, 
But his true heart and soul sublime, 
Lives in the annals of his time. 

XXIV. 

So, by an ever wise decree, 
The drop of water in the sea 
Awakens to a glorious birth, 
Becomes a pearl of matchless worth, 
And shines resplendent in the earth. 



YOUNG GENIUS. 

IMBUED with the seraphic hre 
To wake the music of the lyre, 
To love to know and to aspire : 
Thou seest in thy youthful dream 
All Nature robed hi light supreme, 
And thou wouldst carol in the beam ; 

Happy yet most unhappy still ! 
I dread to think what good and ill, 
What joy and grief, thy heart shall fill ! 

Great shall thy pleasures be thy soul 
Shall chant with planets as they roll, 
Made one with Nature part and whole. 

The clouds that flush the morning sky, 
The wind that wooes the branches high, 
The leaves that whisper and reply; 

The heart of every living thing, 

The flowers that gem the breast of 

spring, 
The russet birds that soar and sing ; 

The pendulous click of night and day, 
The change of seasons as they play 
In heavenly unison alway ; 

The summer's sigh, the winter's roar, 
The beat of billows on the shore, 
Making deep music evermore ; 

All sight, all sound, all sense shall be 
The fountains of thine ecstasy, 
And daily minister to the 

To thee the past shall disengage 
The wisdom of its darkest page, 
And give it for thy heritage ; 



The present, with its hopes and fears, 
Its struggles, triumphs, smiles, and 

tears, 
And glory of the coming years ; 

All shall be given to feed thy mind 
With Love and Pity for thy kind, 
And every sympathy refined. 

All these, and more, shall be thine own, 
And round thine intellectual throne 
The applause of millions shall be blown. 

Thy words shall fill the mouths of men, 
The written lightnings of thy pen 
Shall flash upon their wondering ken. 

Oh Fate oh Privilege sublime ! 

And art thou tempted? Wilt thou 

.- climb? 

Young genius ! budding to thy prime ? 

Reflect : and weigh the loss and gain ; 
All ioy is counterpoised by pain : 
And nothing charms which AVC attain. 

Who loves the music of the spheres 
And lives on Earth, must close his ears 
To many voices which he hears. 

'Tis evermore the finest sense 
That feels the anguish most intense 
At daily outrage, gross and dense. 

The greater ioy the keener grief, 
Of Nature's balances, the chief, 
She grants nor favour, nor relief. 

And vain, most vain, is youthful trust, 
For men are evermore unjust 
To their superior fellow-dust, 

And ever turn malicious eyes 
On those whom most they idolize, 
And break their hearts with calumnies. 

Their slanders, like the tempest-stroke, 
May leave the cowslip's stem unbroke, 
But rend the branches of the oak. 

If Genius live, 'tis made a slave ; 
And if it die the true and brave 
Men pluck its heart out on its grave, 

And then dissect it for the throng, 
And say, "Twas this, so weak, or 

strong, 
That pour'd such living floods of song.' 

Each fault of Genius is a crime, 
For Cant or Folly to beslime 
Sent drifting on the stream of Time. 



LOVE IN HATE. 



281 



Wouldst thou escape such cruel fate, 
Live in the valley, watch and wait, 
But climb not seek not to be great. 

Yet if thou lovest song so well, 

That thou must sing, though this befell 

And worse than this, ineffable ; '. 

If thou wouldst win a lasting fame ; 
If thou the immortal wreath wouldst 

claim, 
And make the Future bless thy name ; 

Begin thy perilous career ; 

Keep high thy heart, thy conscience 

clear ; 
And walk thy way without a fear. 

And if thou hast a voice within, 
That ever whispers' Work and win, 7 
And keeps thy soul from sloth and sin : 

If thou canst plan a noble deed, 
And never flag till it succeed, 
Though in the strife thy heart should 
bleed: 

If thou canst struggle day and night, 
And in the envious world's despite, 
Still keep thy cynosure in sight : 

If thou canst bear the rich man's scorn, 
Nor curse the day that thou wert born, 
To feed on husks, and he on corn : 

If thou canst dine upon a crust, 
And still hold on with patient trust, 
Nor pine that Fortune is unjust : 

If thou canst see, with tranquil breast, 
The knave or fool hi purple dress'd, 
Whilst thou must walk in tattered vest : 

If thou canst rise ere break of day, 
And toil and moil till evening gray, 
At thankless work, for scanty pay : 

If, in thy progress to renown, 

Thou canst endure the scoff and frown 

Of those who strive to pull thee down : 

If thou canst bear the averted face, 
The gibe, or treacherous embrace, 
Of those who run the selfsame race : 

If thou in darkest days canst find 
An inner brightness in thy mind, 
To reconcile thee to thy kind ; 



Whatever obstacles control, 
Thine hour will come go on, true soul ! 
Thou'lt win the prize, thou'lt reach the 
goal. 

If not what matters ? tried by fire, 

And purified from low desire, 

Thy spirit shall but soar the higher. 

Content and hope thy heart shall buoy, 
And men's neglect shall ne'er destroy 
Thy secret peace, thy inward joy ; 

And when thou sittest on the height, 
Thy song shall be its own delight, 
And cheer thee in the world's despite. 



LOVE IN HATE. 

i. 

ONCE I thought I could adore liim, 
Rich or poor, beloved the same ; 

Now I hate Mm and abhor him, 
Now I loathe his very name ; 

Spurn'd at when I sued for pity, 
Kobb'd of peace and virgin fame. 

ii. 

If my hatred could consume him, 
Soul and body, heart and brain ; 

If my will had power to doom him 
To eternity of pain ; 

I would strike and die, confessing 
That I had not lived in vain. 

in. 

Oh, if in my bosom lying, 

"> I could work him deadly scathe ! 

Oh, if I could clasp him dying, 

And receive his parting breath 
In one burst of burning passion 

I would kiss him into death ! 



IV. 



I would cover with embraces 
Lips that once his love confess'd, 

And that falsest of false faces, 
Mad, enraptured, unrepress'd ; 

Then in agony of pity 
I would die \njoon his breast ! 



282 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



THE PRAISE OF WOMEN. 

' My curse on those of women ill who speke 
I praye to God that their neckys doe breke.' 
CHAUCER. 

WOMAN may err Woman may give her mind 

To evil thoughts, and lose her pure estate 
But for one woman who affronts her kind 

By wicked passions and remorseless hate, 
A thousand make amends in age and youth, 

By heavenly Pity, by sweet Sympathy, 
By patient Kindness, by enduring Truth, 

By Love, supremest in adversity. 
Theirs is the task to succour the oistress'd, 

To feed the hungry, to console the sad, 
To pour the balm upon the wounded breast, 

And find dear Pity, even for the bad. 
Blessings on Women ! In the darkest day 

Their love shines brightest ; in the perilous hour 
Their weak hands glow with strength our feuds to stay. 

Blessings upon them ! and if Man would shower 
His condemnation on the few that err, 

Let him be calm, and cease his. soul to vex ; 
Think of his mother, and for sake of her 

Forgive them all, and bless their gentler sex. 



NINETTE. 



THOU borrowest from that heaven of 
blue, 

Oh, maiden dear ! 
The depth of that cerulean hue 

In which thine eyes appear. 

Within then* orbs the sunshine lies 

Without eclipse ; 
And smiles, like meteors of the skies, 

Run races on thy lips. 

Thou borrowest from the rising morn 

The colour fair. 
In which, thy temples to adorn, 

Streams thy overflowing hair ; 

And from the summer evening's glow, 

On Alpine peaks, 
The mingling roses strewn on snow 

That decorate thy cheeks. 



Thou borrowest from all Nature's store 

Some charm or grace ; 
And hill and plain, the sea and shore, 

Yield tnbute to thy face. 

ii. 

Pay, pay them back with usury, 

Oh, maiden dear ! 
With heaven-blue eyes look piously 

On Heaven's o'erarching sphere. 

Nature has lent thee smiles of light, 

Repay in kind, 
With fair Contentment ever bright, 

And sunshine of the mind. 

If she have lent thy cheeks a hue, 

The fairest wrought, 
Oh, par her back with f eeling true, 

With love, and happy thought, 



THE QUARREL. 



283 



For every gift, a gift impart ; 

For face and form, 
Give her a soul serene, a heart 

Pure, sympathetic, warm. 
So shall thy debt be overpaid 

With tribute free ; 
And Man, and Nature, happy maid 

Be both in debt to thee. 



THE QUARREL, 
i. 

' HUSH, Joanna ! 'tis quite certain 
That the coflee was not strong; 

Own your error, I'll forgive you, 
Why so stubborn in the wrong ? ' 

ii. 

' You'll forgive me ! Sir, I hate you ! 

You have used me like a churl; 
Have my senses ceased to guide me ? 

Do you think I am a girl ? ' 



m. 



' Oh, no ! you're a girl no longer 
But a woman form'd to please ; 

And it's time you should abandon 
Childish follies such as these.' 



IV. 



* Oh, I hate you ! but why vex me ? 

If I'm old, you're older still; 
1 11 no longer be your victim, 

And the creature of your will.' 



v. 



'But, Joanna, why this pother? 

It might happen I was wrong ; 
But, if common sense inspire me 

Still, that coffee was not strong.' 



VI. 



Common sense ! you never had it ! 
Oh, that ever I was born ! 
To be wedded to a monster 
Who repays my love with scorn ! ' 



VII. 



' Well, Joanna, we'll not quarrel 
What's the use of bitter strife 'I 

But I'm sorry that I married, ' 
I was mad to take a wife' 



VIII. 



V XXX* 

' Mad, indeed ! I'm glad you know it ! 

But, if law can break the chain. 
I'll be tied to you no longer 

In this misery and pain.' 



IX. 



Hush, Joanna ! shall the servants 
Hear you argue ever wrong ? 
Can you not have done with folly ? 
Own the coffee was not strong.' 



x. 



* Oh ! you goad me past endurance, 
Trifling with my woman's heart ! 

But I loathe you, and detest you, 
Villain ! monster ! let us part ! 

XI. 

Long this foolish quarrel lasted, 

Till Joanna, sore afraid 
That her empire was in peril, 

Summon'd never-f ailing aid ; - 

XII. 

Summon'd tears, in copious torrents,- 
Tears, and sobs, and piteous sighs: 

Well she knew the potent practice 
The artillery of the eyes ! 

XIII. 

And it chanced as she imagined 

Beautiful in grief was she, 

Beautiful to best advantage, 
And a tender heart had he. 

XIV. 

Kneeling at her side, he soothed her, 

Dear Joanna ! I was wrong ; 
Nevermore I'll contradict you, 
But, oh make my coffee strong ! ' 



284 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

WATERLOO BRIDGE. 1841. 

[Before the publication of the 'Bridge of Sighs ' by Thomas Hood.] 

UPON the solitary bridge the light 

Shone dim ; the wind swept howling on its way, 

And tower and spire stood hidden in the gray 

Half-darkness of the raw and rainy night. 

When one still young and fair, with eyes mad-bright, 

Paced up and down, and with a look of woe, 

Gazed on the waters gliding black below, 

Or the dull houses looming on her sight, 

And said within herself, ' Can I endure 

Longer this weight of misery and scorn ? 

Ah, no ! Love-blightedsick at heart and poor; 

Deceived undone and utterly forlorn ! 



Why should I live ? forgive me, Lord ! ' she cried, 
Sprang sudden to the brink, dash'd headl 



ong down and died ! 



THE TWO NIGHTINGALES. 

AN APOLOGUE FOB POETS. 

IN the deep quiet of an ancient wood. 

Two nightingales, that since the sun had set 

Had filTd the enraptured solitude with song, 

Sat silent for awhile, and thus began, 

One with the other, interchange of thoughts. 

' I'm weary/ said the one with weakest voice, 
' Of singing all night long to these dull boughs, 
With none to listen to my heavenly notes. 
What are to me these green insensate woods, 
Yon moon and stars, and the unheeding sky ? 
I would have lovers wander in the shade 
At twilight hour, to listen to my voice 
And call it beautiful. I would have youths, 
Teeming with gentle fancies, quit their books, 
And bend a willing ear to my sweet strains : 
I would have sages hearken to my lay, 
And own me poet of the pensive night. 
Why should I waste my music on the winds, 
Or how sing on, abandou'd to neglect ? 
I will away, and force the callous crowd 
To be delighted. Through some city vast 
My voice shall sound, till busy men shall stop, 
And to my floods of swelling melody 
Give ear enraptured. Brother, come away !' 

* No,' said the other ' I am happy here ; 



THE TWO NIGHTINGALES. 285 

To me all needless is the world's applause. 
Amid these oaks, surrounded by these hills, 
Lull'd by the dash of waters down the rocks, 
Look'd on by moon and stars, leave me to sing. 
My breast is full my song an utterance 
Of joy, that gives me joy to breathe it forth ; 
My song its own reward. Why should I court 
The ear of men, or pine in useless grief 
That hither comes no audience for my lays 1 
Mine is a hymn of Gratitude and Love, 
An overflowing from my inmost heart ; 
And if men listen and are pleased, not less 
My pleasure in administering to theirs. 
But if none care to hear my melodies, 
Not the less happy would I be to sing/ 

' Thou poor in spirit ! ' said the first ; ' Not mine 
This dull contentment, this ignoble peace, 
To which I leave thee. On adventurous wing 
I take my flight to the abodes of men, 
And they shall honour and exalt my name : 
So fare thee well ! ' and as he said, he flew 
From his companion, scorning his low mind ; 
And ere the morning reach'd, on pinions free, 
A vast, smoke-mantled, dim metropolis, 
With domes and columns, spires and monuments, 
And multitudinous chimneys tall as these, 
Towering towards the ever hazy sky ; 
And here alighting on a house-top, sat, 
And look'd about him. Far on every side 
Stretch'd the long line of streets and thoroughfares, 
Trod by a busy and impatient mass ; 
Church-bells rang heavily on the morning air, 
And chariots rattled o'er the dusty stones. 
Loud was the roaring of the multitude, 
Loud was the clink of hammers on the ear, 
And loud the whirling of incessant wheels, 
Pistons and pumps, revolving cylinders, 
And ever-hissing steam in factories vast. 
But nothing daunted by the hubbub round, 
And conscious of some utterance in himself, 
The ambitious nightingale began his song. 
'Twas a forced effort in the eye of Day 2 
For bird like him, by Night alone inspired ; 
But still he sang, and on the smoky air 
Ppur'd a full streajn of no mean music forth. 
Till sunny noon, till lamplit eve, he sang, 
But no one listen'd : all men were absorb'd 
In the pursuit of pleasure or of gain, 
And had no time for melodies like his. 
Weary at heart the nightingale became, 
And disappointment rankled into hate : 
1 Alas ! ' said he, * the age of song is past I 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

I'm born too late ! Merit has no reward ; 
The cold, unfeeling, and most grovelling Crowd 
Forsakes dear Poesy for love of wealth, 
'And all forlorn and desolate am I. 1 

So saying, he outstretched his wings, and fled 
Back to his solitude, and sang no more ; 
And living voiceless angry witn himself, 
And with the world he died before his time, 
And left no mourner to lament his fate. 

The other nightingale, more wise than he, 
With fuller voice ana music more divine, 
Stayed in the woods, and sang but when inspired 
By the sweet breathing of the midnight wind 
By the mysterious twinkling of the stars 
By adoration of the Great Supreme 
By Beauty in all hues and forms around 
By Love and Hope, and Gratitude and Joy ; 
And thus inspirea, the atmosphere was rife 
With the prolonged sweet music that he made. 
He sought no listeners heedless of applause 
But sang as the stars shone, from inward light, 
A blessing to himself and all who heard. 

The cotter, wending weary to his home, 
Linger'd full oft to listen to his song, 
And felt 'twas beautiful, and bless'd the strain ; 
And lonely students, wandering in the woods, 
Loved nature more because this bird had sung. 



THE WANDERERS BY THE SEA. 

ANOTHER APOLOGUE FOB POETS. 

I SAW a crowd of people on the shore 

Of a deep, dark, illimitable sea: 

Pale-faced they were, and turn'd their eyes to earth, 

And stoop'd low down, and gazed upon the sands ; 

And ever and anon they roam'd about, 

Backwards and forwards ; and whene'er they stopp'd 

It was to gather on the weedy beach 

The dulse and tangles, or the fruitful shells, 

Whose living tenants fasten'd to the rocks 

They pluck'd away, and listlessly devoured. 

And when they'd eaten all their fill, they sat 
One by the other on the placid shore, 



THE WANDERERS BY THE SEA. 287 

And with much labour and incessant care 
Polish'd the shells, until to brightest hues, 
Various and intermingling, they were wrought ; 
And these they hung around their necks and limbs, 
And look'd each other in the face, and smiled. 
This done, they wander'd on the shore again, 
And ate and ate, and drank and drank, and slept, 
Day after day night after night the same. 

Meanwhile the firmament was bright with stars, 
And from the clouds aerial voices came 
In tones of melody, now low, now loud ; 
Angelie forms were hovering around 
In robes of white and azure ; heaven itself 
Appear'd to open and invite the gaze 
Of these poor stooping earth-enamour'd crowds 
But they ne'er look'd, nor heard. Though the deep sea 
Flash'd phosphorescent ; though dim seen afar, 
The white sails and the looming hulls of ships 
Gleam'd through the darkness, and the pregnant air 
Gave birth to visions swathed in golden fire 
They look'd not. Though the heavenly voices call'd, 
And told them of the world of life and light, 
Of Beauty, Power, Love, Mystery, and Joy, 
That lay beyond, and might be seen of those, 
However lowly, that would lift then* eyes 
They heeded not, nor heard ; but wander'd on, 
Plucking their weeds and gathering their shells. 
And if they heard the murmur of the sea 
That bore them tidings of the Infinite 
They knew it not ; but lay them idly down, 
Thought of the morrow's food, and sank to sleep. 
And when they woke, with their care-deaden'd eyes, 
And pallid faces, and toil-burden'd backs, 
Began once more their customary search 
Upon the bare and melancholy sands ; 
As if that search were all the end of life, 
And all things else but nothingness and void. 

But 'mid that low-browed multitude were some 
Of larger faculties, and foreheads fair, 
Laden with knowledge ; and of eyes that beam'd 
Intelligence, and quick desire to know ; 
Who saw the visions teeming in the air ; 
Who heard the voices breathing in the sky ; 
Who o'er the illimitable waters stretch'd 
Their eager gaze, and through the gloom descried 
Shadows of beauty, which, but half reveal'd, 
Added a Wonder to then* loveliness ; 
Who heard celestial music night and morn 
Played in the lap of ocean, or attuned 
To every motion of the ceaseless wind; 



288 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

Who heard th' harmonious cadence of the stars ; 

Who saw the angels with their azure wings ; 

And lifted up their voices in a song 

Of praise and joy, that not from them were lu'dden, 

By blinding avarice and worldly care 

Of shells and sea -weed, all th' immensity 

Of nature all th' infinitude of heaven 

And all the hope, bright as a certainty. 

That here, upon this low and gloomy shore, 

Our life is but a germ, that shall expand 

To fruit and foliage hi a brighter clime. 

And all of these spake to the crowd in song, 
And bade them lift their dull earth-bending eyes, 
And see how beautiful were Life and Time ; 
And bade them listen to the eternal chant 
Of Nature, overflowing with its joy, 
And the mysterious hymn for ever sung 
By Earth to Heaven, of which their words inspired 
Were the interpreters to humankind. 

And some of these were angry with the crowd, 
Who would not listen, and whose ears were vex'd 
With all that would distract them from their shells, 
And weltering dulse and tangles on the shore. 
But one of them with venerable hair, 
And a large brow, and face serene as Heaven, 
Rebuked them for their wrath with mild sad words, 
And said' Oh brothers, weary not your souls ? 
If they are happy with their weeds and shells, 
Let them alone : And if their hearts prefer 
Pebbles to stare, and sound of their own feet 
Plashing amid the waters, to the song 
Of angels, and the music of the spheres 
Let them alone. Why should ye vex your souls ? 
Are ye not happy that to your keen sight 
Those things are shown which they refuse to see ? 
Are ye not happy that your ears can hear 
The oracles of Nature, mute to them ? 
That ye are priests and prophets, though contemn'd J 
Brothers ! be wise make music to your minds ! 
For he who singeth from his own f ull heart 
Hath his reward even in the utterance. 
Brothers ! be wise and sing your songs in peace ! ' 



ANGEL VlStfS. 



ANGEL VISITS. 

i. 

1 THOU'RT old, grandfather, old and blind, 
But ever cheerful, ever kind. 
I love, when early Summer blooms, 
And meads are lavish of perfumes, 
To see thee in thy garden chair, 
With silvery locks and forehead bare, 
And face upturn'd, as thou hadst 

striven 
To look through darkness into Heaven. 

n. 

* And oft when o'er the frozen wold 
The wintry tempests whistle cold, 
When strolling gusts, in sport or ire, 
Howl down our chimney at the fire ; 
When crickets chirrup on the hearth. 
As if they shared the children's mirth, 
My last day's lesson I repeat, 

Or read my Bible at thy feet. 

in. 

* But now the Summer days have come, 
With song of birds and insect-hum ; 
The earth is bright with flowers and 

leaves; 

The swallows dart from cottage eaves ; 
The shadows through the foliage fall, 
Like net-work, on the garden wall ; 
And ship-like clouds go sailing by, 
In the calm ocean of the sky. 

IV. 

1 Around our porch the tendrils twine, 
And bind-weeds clasp the eglantine. 
The summer day is fair and mild, 
Come, lean upon thy little child, 
And let me guide thee to thy seat ; 
I'll do my knitting at thy feet, 
And, should the time be dull or long, 
I'll read, or sing my last new song. 

v. 

' But far more happy should I be, 
To sit. and hear, and learn from thee. 
Oft when thou'rt musing all alone, 
No eye upon thee but mine own, 
I hear half-spoken words that seem 
Replies to questions in a dream, 
And watch, observant, from my place, 
The placid rapture on thy face. 



vt. 

' And it would please me wouldst thou 

tell 

Thine own, thy little Rosabel, 
What thoughts, amid thy sight's eclipse, 
Can bring the smiles upon thy lips. 
Old age, I've heard, is full of care, 
But thou art happy, thine is f air ; 
So fair and yet it cannot be 
I think that Angels visit thee.' 

VII. 

1 Dear Rosabel, 'tis even so ! 
There are more Angels than we know. 
Lend me thy hand, my seat prepare, 
Let me inhale the morning air, 
Receive the sunlight on my cheek, 
And feel thy presence as I speak, 
And I will tefl of Angels three, 
Who daily come to visit me. 

VIII. 

' Though I am frail, and old, and blind, 

God sends his sunshine to my mind. 

'Twas He bestow'd the visual ray, 

'Twas He who took the gift away ; 

But when His chastening hand with- 
drew 

Earth's outward forms from sensuous 
view, 

He open'd to my mental sight 

The inner spirit infinite. 

IX. 

* And self-communion, calm and long 
Deep musings upon right and wrong, 
And conflicts with the pride and sin 
That ever surged and swoll within, 
Clear'd from my soul some mists obscure, 
And fill'd it with revealings pure ; 
I knew myself, and, humbled low, 
Drew comfort in my deepest woe. 

x. 

' I see no more the fields and bowers, 
Nor endless beauty of the flowers ; 
I see no more the rivers run, 
Nor hill-tops gilded by the sun ; 
I see no more Creation's grace ; 
I see no more thy gentle face ; 
And all the glory of the skies 
Is hidden from my wither' d eyes. 
19 



290 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



XI. 

' But when I hear the wild wind call 
To forest boughs that answer all 
The sedges rustling in the lake 
The black-bird singing in the brake- 
The far off murmurs of the shore 
Deep-throated ocean's moan and roar ; 
Remembrance wakens in my mind, 
And paints the pictures of the blind. 

xn. 

"Tis then an Angel, one of three, 
Descends to bear me company. 
Sweet are the accents of his tongue, 
He keeps my heart for ever young ; 
In his companionship I stray, 
Back to my childhood's early day, 
And live again a wondering boy, 
Heir of a world of life and joy. 

XIII. 

' With him I hold communion fit, 
His voice makes music where I sit. 
I listen, and before me pass 
World-shadows in a mystic glass ; 
The torrent falls, the landscape spreads, 
The steadfast forests nod their heads, 
And the eternal oceans roll, 
In the clear mirror of my soul. 

XIV. 

'Whene'er the early cuckoo's voice 
Bids me and all the meads rejoice ; 
Whene'er I find a new delight, 
In opening day or closing night; 
Whene'er I sit in sun or shade, 
And bless the world and Him who made, 
And feel the joys I cannot see, 
I know this Angel visits me. 

xv. 

1 And evermore, when he departs, 
Another cheers my heart of nearts, 
With soft blue eyes two azure spheres, 
Bright with the luxury of tears. 
Sweet is the song of early birds. 
Yet sweeter far are human words 
This Angel loves them, so do I ; 
He links me to Humanity. 

XVI. 

'Whene'er thy father, pleased with 

home, 
Has smiles for all who go or come ; 



Whene'er, his daily labour done, 
He breathes his evening orison ; 
Whene'er thy mother, good and mild, 
Sings lullaby to soothe her child ; 
I feel a sympathy sincere, 
And know this Angel hovers near. 

XVII. 

' Whene'er I hear the children play 
With many a chant and roundelay ; 
Whene'er the trample of their feet 
Makes music round my lonely seat ; 
Whene'er I hear thee sing thy song, 
In happy innocence of wrong, 
And love all children, thee the best ; 
I know that Angel is my guest. 

XVIII. 

' Whene'er I hear of generous thought, 
Of noble deeds by manhood wrought, 
Of patience, long and sorely tried, 
Walking with Virtue side by side, 
Of love supreme amid distress, 
Of courage great in gentleness, 
And feel the tears suffuse mine eyes, 
I share angelic sympathies. 

XIX. 

' Whene'er I hear of sin and guilt, 
Of human blood in warfare spilt, 
Of wrong and suffering unrelieved, 
Of tender innocence aggrieved, 
Of harsh oppression, hate, and scorn, 
Yet feel not utterly forlorn, 
But hopeful of a time to be, 
I'm sure that Angel visits me. 

xx. 

' And, Rosabel, dear Rosabel. 
Another Angel, mark me well. 
Sits at my side by night and day, 
And teacnes me to hope and pray ; 
He bids all doubt and sorrow cease, 
He fills my soul with heavenly peace, 
And sings me the eternal hymn 
Of the adoring seraphim. 

XXI. 

' And oft, when sleep forsakes mine eyes, 
He lifts a veil of mysteries, 
And shows me, strong in humble faith, 
Life-shadows, and the things of Death ; 
He takes the terror from the tomb, 

'.oom 



JUBAL AND HIS CHILDREN. 



291 



ttpon the dark sepulchral clod ; 
That Angel is the Love of God. 

XXII. 

' Angel ! heavenly Angel mine ! 

His words are harmonies divine ; 

In his companionship serene. 

All earthly ioys are poor and mean: 

The world hath come, the world must 

go 

The immortal longings throb and glow 
I feel no more the primal curse, 
I clasp the boundless universe. 

XXIII. 

' And yet I doubt, daughter dear, 
If all these Angels hover here 
So similar is each to each, 
So like in feature, form, and speech, 
So KmVd in one celestial plan 
Are love of Nature, God, and Man, 
I cannot think that they are three ; 
7 Tis but one Angel visits me.' 



JUBAL AND HIS CHILDREN. 

1 Jubal -ftras the father of all such as handle the 
harp and organ.' GENESIS iv. 21. 



' FATHER/ said Jubal's eldest son, 
' The skies were robed in gloom ; 

Cloud struck on cloud, and long and loud 
I heard the tempests boom ; 

Like chariots rattling through the stars, 

I heard their axles roll ; 

Heaven's pavement flash'd; the thun- 
ders crash'd 
'Twas music to my soul.', 

IT. 

* Father/ said Jubal's second son, 

I 1 walk'd beside the sea ; 

With mighty roar against the shore 
The waves were dashing free ; 

The waves and winds, together loosed, 
Went mad, beyond control ; 

With joy, yet fear, I leap'd to hear 
'Twas music to my soul.' 

in. 

Father/ said Jubal's younger son, 
* I roam'd the forest through ; 



The northern blast, careering past, 

With fitful anger blew ; 
The oak trees bow'd their lofty heads, 

While from their branches stole 
An awful rhyme, a song sublime 

; Twas music to my soul.' 

IV. 

1 Father/ said Jubal's youngest son, 

1 Beside the rock's gray wall, 
I clinib'd alone the mossy stone, 

To hear the torrent fall ; 
Ever it chants a solemn hymn, 

The waters rush and roll, 
They leap and play, in foam and spray- 

'Tis music to my soul.' 

v. 

* Father/ his eldest daughter said, 

' The stream runs freely by ; 
The violets blink upon its brink, 

Its breast reflects the sky ; 
It sings all day a cheerful song 

Beneath the grassy knoll ; 
Its pebbles chafe its ripples laugh 

'Tis music to my soul. 7 

VI. 

* Father/ his second daughter said, 

' I heard the sky-lark sing 
Up in the air, a jewel fair, 

On forehead of the spring ; 
I know not what the song might be, 

It seem'd like rapture whole ; 
A melody a mystery 

'Twas music to my soul.' 

VII. 

' Father/ his youngest daughter said, 

* I listen'd, and I heard, 
At midnight deep, when half asleep, 

The whisper of a word. 
It was my mother at my T)ed, 

One hasty kiss she stole, 
On lips and cheek I could not speak, 

'Twas music to my soul. 7 

VIII. 

And Jubal, to his children's voice, 

No word in answer made ; 
But still he wrought, as if in thought 

His questioning fingers stray'd. 
At length his eyes, with keen delight 

Shot rays like burning coal ; 



292 



BALLADS AtfD LYRICAL POEMS. 



1 Oh, children mine ! a pOAver divine 
Is bursting on my soul !' 

IX. 

He sought the mid wood solitude, 

And supplicated heaven ; 
The floods of music o'er him rush'd 

The needful strength was given : 
And first, to please his daughters mild, 

The gentle harp he strung, 
Then for his sons built organ pipes, 

And struck till echo rung. 

x. 

' Joy ! children, joy ! ; he shouted forth, 

' Be all your anthems pour'd ! 
The organ swell shall ever tell 

The glory of the Lord. 
But when you sing of earth and men, 

Of human loves and fears, 
Your harps shall sound in softer strains, 

Harmonious with the spheres/ 



YOUTH AND SORROW. 

i. 

* GET thee back, Sorrow, get thee back ! 
My brow is smooth, mine eyes are bright, 
My limbs are full of health and strength, 
My cheeks are fresh, my heart is light. 
So, get thee back ! oh, get thee back ! 
Consort with age, but not with me ; 
Why shouldst thou follow on my track? 
I am too young to live with thee.' 

ii. 

' foolish Youth, to scorn thy fiiend ! 
To harm thee wherefore should I seek ? 
I would not dim thy sparkling eyes, 
Nor blight the roses on thy cheek. 
I would but teach thee to be true ; 
And should I press thee overmuch, 
Ever the flowers that I bedew, 
Yield sweetest fragrance to the touch.' 

in. 

' Get thee back, Sorrow, get thee back ! 
I like thee not, thy looks are chill. 
The sunshine lies upon my heart, 
Thou showest me the shadow still. 
So, get thee back ! oh, get thee back ! 
Nor make me prematurely gray ; 



Why shouldst thou follow on my track ? 
Let me be happy while I may.' 

IV. 

'Good friend, thou needest sage advice; 
I'll keep thy heart from growing proud, 
I'll fill thy mind with kindly thoughts, 
And link thy pity to the crowd. 
Wouldst have a heart of pulseless stone? 
Wouldst be too happy to be good ? 
Nor make a human woe thine own, 
For sake of human brotherhood ? ' 

v. 

c Get thee back, Sorrow, get thee back! 
Why should I weep while I am young ? 
I have not piped I have not danced 
My morning songs I have not sung. 
The world is beautiful to me, 
Why tarnish it to soul and sense ? 
Prithee begone ! I'll think of thee 
Some half a hundred winters hence.' 

VI. 

' foolish Youth, thou know*st me not; 
I am the mistress of the earth 
'Tis / give tenderness to love : 
Enhance the privilege of mirth ; 
Refine the human gold from dross ; 
And teach thee, wormling of the sod, 
To look beyond thy present loss 
To thy eternal gain with God.' 

VII. 

' Get thee back, Sorrow, get thee back ! 
I'll learn thy lessons soon enough ; 
If virtuous pleasure smooth my way, 
AVhy shouldst thou seek to make it 

rough ? 

No fruit can ripen in the dark, 
No bud can bloom in constant cold 
So, prithee, Sorrow, miss thy mark, 
Or strike me not till I am old.' 

VIII. 

' I am thy friend, thy best of friends ; 
No bud in constant heats can blow 
The green f ruit withers in the drought, 
But ripens where the waters flow. 
The sorrows of thy youthful day 
Shall make thee wise in coming years j 
The brightest rainbows ever play 
Above the fountains of our tears/ 



THE MAN AND THE ATOM. 



293 



IX. 

Youth frowu'd, but Sorrow gently 

smiled ; 

Upon his heart her hand she laid, 
And all its latent sympathies 
Throbb'd to the fingers of the maid. 
And when his head grew gray with 

Time, 

He own'd that Sorrow spoke the truth, 
And that the harvest of his prime 
Was ripen'd by the rains of Youth. 



ENDURANCE. 



WERE the lonely acorn never bound 
In the rude cold grasp of the rotting 

ground ; 

Did the rigid frost never harden up 
The mpula above its bursting cup ; 
Were it never soak'd in the rain and 

hail, 
Or chill'd by the breath of the wintry 

gale, 

It would not sprout in the sunshine free, 
Or give the promise of a tree ; 
It would not spread to the summer air 
Its lengthening boughs and branches 

fail- 
To build a bower where, in starry nights, 
Young Love might dream unknown de- 
lights ; 

Or stand in the woods among its peers, 
Fed by the dews of a thousand years. 

ir. 

Were never the dull, unseemly ore 
Dragged from the depths where it slept 

of yore ; 

Were it never cast into scorching flame, 
To be purged of impurity and shame ; 
Were it never molten 'mid burning 

brands, 

Or bruised and beaten by stalwart hands, 
It would never be known as a thing of 

worth ; 

It would never emerge to a nobler birth ; 
It would never be form'd into mystic 

rings, 
To fetter Love's erratic wings ; 



It would never shine amid priceless gems, 
On the girth of imperial diadems ; 
Nor become to the world a power and a 

pride, 
Cherish'd, adored, and deified. 

in. 

So, thou, man of a noble soul, 
Starting in view of a glorious goal, 
Wert thou never exposed to the blasts, 

forlorn 
The storms of sorrow the sleets of 

scorn; 

Wert thou never refined in pitiless fire, 
From the dross of thy sloth and mean 

desire ; 
Wert thou never taught to feel and 

know 

That the truest love has its roots in woe, 
Thou wouldst never unriddle the com- 
plex plan, 

Or reach half way to the perfect man ; 
Thou wouldst never attain the tranquil 

height 

Where wisdom purifies the sight, 
And God unfolds to the humblest gaze 
The bliss and beauty of His ways. 



THE MAN AND THE ATOM. 

THE MAN. 

1 SMALL atom, unconsiderM, 
Unfelt, and scarcely seen ! 
Thou hast no worth 
Upon the earth ; 
So infinitely mean. 

* Useless thou art, atom ! 

And absolute in might, 

If I decree 

Thou shalt not be, 

I can destroy thee quite/ 

THE ATOM. 

1 Ah, no ! thy hand is powerless ! 

I hold a life too high, 

A strength innate, 

As old as fate, 

I change, but cannot die. 



294 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



{ Destruction cannot touch me ; 

The hand alone which wrought 

My shape and thine, 

A hand Divine, 

Can hurl me into nought. 

1 Thou mayst on waters cast me, 

Or loose me to the wind, 

Or burn in fire, 

At thy desire, 

So that thou canst not find ; 

* But I shall hold existence 
To Earth's remotest time, 
And fill in space 

My destined place, 

Though humble, yet sublime. 

' Vain man ! ere yet thy father 

Drew nurture from the breast; 

Ere yet the field, 

Thy grandsires till'd, 

By human foot was press'd; 

* Ere yet the mighty empire, 
Of which thou'rt citizen, 
Was slowly wrought, 

By strength of Thought, 
To be a hive of men ; 

' Ere yet the savage wander'd 
Where now thy cities stand j 
Ere foxes prowl'd, 
Or wild wolves howl'd, 
In forests of thy land ; 

* Ere yet the deeds of heroes 
By Homer's tongue was told ; 
Ere Troy was built, 

Or blood was spilt, 
By mythic men of old; 



' Ere yet the ancient peoples, 
Whose very names have died, 
Built towns on rocks, 
Or fed their flocks 
Upon Euphrates' side ; 

* Ere yet great Nimrod hunted 
In insolence of power, 

Or raised in vain, 
On Babel's plain, 
His Heaven-defying tower ; 

* Ere yet the Ark was floated, 
Or Heaven-born giants trod, 
With mortal maids, 
Through greenwood shades, 
To dare the wrath of God; 

* Ere yet offending Adam 
Fell from his pure estate ; 
Or tended flowers, 

In Eden's bowers, 

With Eve, his happy mate ; 

1 7, even 7 existed ; 

And played my proper part 

In God's great plan ; 

Oh, little man, 

Reflect on what thou art ! 

4 Couldst thou destroy my being, 

Thy hand might reach the spheres, 

And bid the sun 

No longer run 

His course among his peers. 

* Be humble, brother atom ! 
Whate'er thy mortal growth, 
Or mine may be, 
Humility 

Alone becomes us both ! ' 



REMEMBRANCES OF NATURE. 

I REMEMBER the time, thou roaring sea, 
When thy voice was the voice of Infinity 
A joy, and a dread, and a mystery. 

I remember the time, ye young May flowers, 
When your odours and hues in the fields and bowers 
Fell on my soul, as on grass the showers, 



REMEMBRANCES OF NATURE. 295 



I remember the time, thou blustering wind, 
When thy voice in the woods, to my youthful mind, 
Seem'd the sigh of the Earth for humankind. 

I remember the time, ye suns and stars. 
When ye raised my soul from its mortal bars, 
And bore it through heav'n on your golden cars. 

And has it then vanish'd, that happy time 1 

Are the winds, and the seas, and the stars sublime, 

Deaf to thy soul in its manly prime 'I 

Ah, no ! ah, no ! amid sorrow and pain, 
When the world and its facts oppress my brain, 
In the world of spirit I rove I reign. 

I feel a deep and a pure delight 

In the luxuries of sound and sight 

In the opening day, in the closing night. 

The voices of youth go with me still, ., 

Through the field and the wood, o'er the plain and thejiill 
In the roar of the sea, in the laugh of the rill. , 

Every flower is a lover of mine, 

Every star is a friend divine : 

For me they blossom, for me they shine. 

To give me joy the oceans roll, 

They breathe their secrets to my soul : 

With me they sing, with me condole. 

Man cannot harm me if he would ; 

I have such friends for my every mood, 

In the overflowing solitude. 

Fate cannot touch me : nothing can stir 
To put disunion or hate of her 
7 Twixt Nature and her worshipper. 

Sing to me, flowers ; preach to me, skies ; 
Ye landscapes, glitter in mine eyes ; 
Whisper, ye deeps, your mysteries. 

Sigh to me, winds ; ye forests, nod ; 
Speak to me ever, thou flowery sod : 
Ye are mine all mine iu the peace of God. 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



A DEFIANCE. 

THOU shalt not rob me, thievish Time, 
Of all my blessings, all my joy ; 
I have some jewels in my heart, 
Which thou art powerless to destroy. 

Thou mayst denude mine arm of 

strength, 

And leave my temples seam'd and bare; 
Deprive mine eyes of passion's light, 
And scatter silver o'er my hair; 

But never, while a book remains, 
And breathes a woman or a child, 
Shalt thou deprive me, whilst I live, 
Of feelings fresh and undenled. 

No, never while the Earth is fair, 
And reason keeps its dial bright, 
Whate'er thy robberies, Time, 
Shall I be bankrupt of delight. 

Whate'er thy victories on my frame ;' 
Thou canst not cheat me of this truth 
That though the limbs may faint and fail, 
The spirit can renew its youth. 

So, thievish Time, I fear thee not ; 
Thou'rt powerless on this heart of mine. 
My precious jewels are my own, 
'Tis but the settings that are thine. 



ALTERNATION. 



ADVICE TO A HARD STUDENT. 



DAY follows Night; the spring-time 

buds 

i~ Are bora of whiter snow, 
And for the sake of summer leaves 

The March Nor'-easters blow. 
December weaves the robe of May, 

And June's young blossoms drop, 
That Amalthea's horn may gleam 

With ripeness to the top. 

ii. 

Did Night for ever show her stars, 

Or Noonday ever shine ; 
Were orchards in perpetual fruit, 

What loss were thine and mine \ 



All blessings, beauties, and delights 

From Alternation rise ; 
And constant Nature lives in change 

Beneficently wise. 

in. 
Then vary thy incessant task, 

Nor plod each weary day, 
A.S if thy life were thing of earth 

A servant to its clay. 
Alternate with thine honest work 

Some contemplations high : 
Though toil be iust, though gold be good, 

Look upward to the sky. 

IV. 

Take pleasure for thy limbs at morn; 

At noontide wield the pen ; 
onverse to-night with moon and stars; 

To-morrow talk with men. 
Cull garlands in the fields and bowers, 

Or toy with running brooks 
Then rifle in thy chamber lone 

The honey of thy books. 

v. 

If in the wrestlings of the mind 

A gladiator strong, 
Give scope and freedom to thy thought, 

But strive not over-long. 
Climb to the mountain-top serene, 

And let life's surges beat. 
With all their whirl of striving men, 

Far, far beneath thy feet. 

VI. 

But stay not ever on the height, 

'Mid intellectual snow ; 
Come down betimes to tread the grass, 

And roam where waters flow ; 
Come down betimes to rub thy hands 

At the domestic hearth ; 
Come down to share the warmth of love, 

And join the children's mirth. 

VII. 

If thou wouldst read in Wisdom's book, 

Do justice to thy mind, 
Nor fix thy gaze upon the sun, 

For fear of growing blind. 
Though Wisdom hauot the solitude, 

Green wood, or moorland brown, 
Yet there is Wisdom wise as she 

In highways of the town, 



TEE SPIRIT OF THE BLUE-BELL. 



297 



vin. 
Let love of books, and love of fields, 

And love of men combine 
To feed in turns thy mental life, 

And fan its flame divine ; 
Let outer frame, and inner soul, 

Maintain a balance true, 
Till every string on Being's lyre 

Give forth its music due. 

IX. 

Keep time with Nature ; sow or reap 

Obedient to her call ; 
Nor for one season's flower or fruit 

Renounce the wealth of all. 
Wise Alternation rules the world, 

As now succeeds to then : 
So shall thy life adjust its powers, 

And thou be maa of men ! 



THE SPIRIT OF THE BLUE- 
BELL. 

(SUGGESTED BY A BEAUTIFUL BASSO- 
BELIEVO BY E. WESTMACOTT.) 



WHEN youthful June strews earth with 

flowers, 

And birds make musical the bowers ; 
When sound with sight appears to vie, 
Which best shall charm us, earth or 

sky 

I love, sweet blossom of the wild. 
Young summer's azure-vested child, 
To see thee hang thy tender bells 
In meadow slopes or forest dells. 

ii. 

'Mid feathery fern or spear-like grass, 
Thou noddest to me as I pass ; 
And, memory^s playmate as thou art, 
Awakest fancies of the heart, 
Entwined with rural life and joy, 
That please the man and charm'd the 

boy ; 
And send me back, through clouds of 

years, 
To childhood's blushes, smiles, and tears. 



in. 

I tread the forest Solitude, 

Thou modest sapphire of the wood, 

And Solitude, no longer lone, 

Is filTd with visions all thine own : 

With thoughts and dreams, each Unk'd 

with thee 

By some soft spell of Memory, 
Sweet to recall, and dear to hold 
My recollection's minted gold. 

IV. 

I live my early life anew ; 
I tread, weU pleased, the morning dew ; 
With childish voice I trill my rhyme, 
With tiny feet the stiles I climb, 
With little eyes that never tire, 
I watch, examine, and admire ; 
And gather garlands as I run, 
Or sit and weave them in the sun. 

v. 

Anon by running brooks I lie. 
To watch the white clouds sailing by; 
Or, dazzled by the noontide beam, 
I cast thy blossoms in the stream, 
With curious gaze resolved to note 
Their small mischances as they float 
Deciding, with a judgment proud, 
Which sails the faster, flower or cloud. 

VI. 

And other visions come at call 
The lover's walk at evening's fall ; 
The posy cull'd with pleasing care,! 
To grace a bosom fond and lair ; 
The seat beneath the apple-tree, 
Or mid high clover on the lea ; 
All the bright foolishness of youth, 
When earth was heaven and Love was 
truth. 

VII. 

These are thy gifts and liberal dower, 
Gem of the wilds, ethereal flower ! 
I would not lose my love of thee, ' 
For all the pomps of luxury ; 
Nor of thy sisters of the woods, 
Companions of my varying moods ; 
All sweetly garrulous as thou, 
Of past delights made present now. 

VIII. 

Yet, mighty Art, to Nature true, 
Can clothe thy form with beauty noir. 



298 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



Lo ! by the artist's powerful spells, 
Amid thy leaves a spirit dwells 
A spirit with a gentle face, 
Imbued with melancholy grace, 
And downcast eyes that seem to say, 
1 I love I meditate I pray.' 



IX. 






Triumphant Art ! the spirit fair 
Was no creation she was there : 
Thou didst but see with keener eye, 
What blind materialists deny. 
A living spirit breathes in all, 
To teach, enrapture, and enthral ; 



Each tree that waves, each flower that 

springs, 
Speaks high and spiritual things. 



And once by chisel, brush, or pen, 
Evoked before the eyes of men, 
No future spell can disenchant, 
The floweret or its habitant : 
The beauteous visions breathe and move, 
Like creatures of our daily love ; 
And, link'd with sympathies refined, 
Become immortal as the mind. 



A FANCY UNDER THE TREES. 



YE happy, happy trees, 

That in perpetual ease 
Stand on the soil where ye as saplings grew ; 

That lift your branches fair 

To the embracing air, 
And feed on sunshine, rain, and morning dew ; 

I would that I could lead, 

In all my thought and deed, 
A life, ye happy trees, as beautiful as you. 

n. 

To build your fabric high 

No breathing creatures die : 
Your bursting buds that open to the spring 

Require no food from death ; 

Your leaves that woo the breath 
Of the sweet summer, and your boughs that swing 

To breezes over-head. 

Demand no life-blood shed, 
Or tribute of a pain from meanest living thing. 

in. 

In cloud-caressing length, 

In beauty and in strength, 
Ye live and grow, ye people of the woods. 

Not idly do we deem, 

In waking fancy's dream, 
That inyour green and busy solitudes 

Ye may, to men unknown, 

Have pleasures of your own, 
' And feel sweet sympathies with all dear Nature's moods. 



A FANCY UNDER THE TREES. 299 

IV. 

To everything that lives 

The kind Creator gives 
Share of enjoyment; and, while musing here, 

Amid the high grass laid, 

Under your grateful shade, 
I deem your branches rustling low and clear 

May have some means of speech, 

Lovingly, each to each, 
Some power to understand, to wonder, to revere. 

v. 

I deem that all your leaves,. 

In morns, or noons, or eves, 
Or in the starry stillness of the night, 

May look to Heaven in prayer, 

Or bend to earth, and share 
Some joy of sense, some natural delight; 

That root, and branch, and stem, 

Partake the joy with them, 
And feel through all their sap God's glory infinite. 

VI. 

I deem the song of birds 

May speak to you in words, 
And give you pleasure in your silent hours. 

I deem that storm and hail, 

The thunder and the gale, 
The softly-dripping, health-restoring showers, 

The sunlight and the dews, 

May secretly infuse 
Emotions of pure joy to all the groves and bowers. 

VII. 

I deem that all night long, 

When hush'd is every song, 
And the cold frosty stars wink in the sky 

When the winds droop to rest 

On Earth's forgiving breast 
That ye still wake, and hold communion high 

With the o'er-arching spheres, 

Disclosing to our ears 
The truths in fables told of heavenly harmony. 

VIII. 

I deem, when winter cold 1 

Howls o'er the brittle wold, 
And all your boughs rock naked to and fro, 

That unto you is given, 

By ever-watchful Heaven, 
Strength to endure, and solace under woe j 

That He who rules the wind 

Tempers its wrath unkind, 
And guards your lives, as ours, when bitter tempests blow. 



300 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

IX. 

I deem ye speak aloud 

To the careering cloud ; 
And that your deep-toned hymns, to fervour wrought, 

When dark December roars, 

Voiced like the billowy shores, 
Is the expression of religious thought ; 

And that, with distant waves, . 

Ye chant harmonious staves 
A psalmody sublime, with adoration fraught. 



happy, happy trees ! 

Ye make no enemies : 
All things that live and know you are your friends. 

Enjoying and enjoyed, 

Your harmless lives are void 
Of all the Sorrow that on ours attends. 

Your day is long and fair, 

Your life is sweet to bear, 
And Nature has decreed no suffering when it ends. 

XI. 

Ends when restored to earth ? 

Perchance. If constant birth 
Springs but from constant changing and decay, 

The life that moved your sap 

May live again, mayhap, 
And bear new beauties to the gaze of day. 

Oh, mystery of Death ! 

Unspoken of our breath ; 
We feel, but know thee not we can but hope and pray, 



THE SEVEN ANGELS OF THE LYRE. 



i. 



KNOWEST thou not the wondrous lyre ? 
Its strings extend from Earth to Heaven, 
And ever more the angels seven, 
With glowing ringers tipp'd in fire, 
Draw from the chords celestial tones, 
That peal in harmonies through all the starry zones. 



ii. 



An angel with a pensive face 
Sits at the key-note evermore ; 
Not sad, as if a pang she bore, 

But radiant with supernal grace ; 



THE SEVEN ANGELS OF THE LYRE. 301 

Her name is SORROW ; when she sings 

The wondrous Lyre responds in all its golden strings. 

in. 

The second breathes in harmonies ; 
A rainbow is her diadem, 
And on her breast she wears a gem 
That trickled from Contrition's eyes : 
Her name is SYMPATHY ; her tears 
Falling upon the Lyre make music in the spheres. 

IV. 

The third is beautiful as she ; 
Unfading flowers her brow adorn, 
And from her smile a ray is born 
That looks into Eternity : 
Her name is HOPE ; to hear her voice 
Belted Orion sings, and all the stars rejoice. 

v. 

The fourth with eyes of earnest ken, 
Surveys the boundless universe, 
While her ecstatic lips rehearse 
The promises of God to men : 
Her name is FAITH ; her rnidity chord 
Reverberates through space the glories of the Lord. 

VI. 

The fifth is robed in spotless white, 
And from the beating of her heart, 
Such heavenly confiscations start 
As clothe the universe with light : 
Her name is LOVE ; when she preludes, 
The constellations throb in all their multitudes. 

VII. 

The sixth inhales perpetual Morn : 
Far through the bright Infinitude 
She sees beyond the present Good, 
The Better destined to be born : 
Her name is ASPIRATION ; ever 
She sings the might of WILL, the beauty of ENDEAVOUR. 

VIII. 

Crown and completion of the seven, 
Rapt ADORATION sits alone ; 
She wakes the Lyre's divinest tone 
It touches Earth it dwells in heaven. 
All Life and Nature join her hymn ; 
Man and the rolling worlds and choirs of cherubim, 



302 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

IX. 

Know'st thou that lyre ? If through thy soul 
Th 7 immortal music never ran, 
Thou art but outwardly a man ; 
Thou art not pure thou art not whole 
A faculty within thee sleeps 
Death-like, ensepultured, in dim, unfathom'd deeps. 

x. 

Immortal spirit, hear and soar ! 
The angels wave their golden wings, 
And strike the seven celestial strings, 
To give thee joy for evermore : 
Mount upward, lark-like, from the sod ; 
And join, thou happy soul, the harmonies of God ! 



A PLEA FOR OUR PHYSICAL LIFE. 



WHY should we ever toil, 

In silence or turmoil, 
To gather sold like Calif ornian slaves? 

Why sliould we still debate, 

In melancholy state, 
Knowledge abstruse to lead us to our graves? 

Or dream majestic dreams, 

Filling the earth with schemes 
Of human nappiness from our Utopian shelves 
World-wide ! alas but far too narrow for ourselves ? 

ii. 

Let us be young again, 

And o'er the grassy plain 
Gambol like children, ana give Care the slip, 

Forgetful of distress 

And mental stateliness ; 
Let us be young in spirit, as we trip 

Beside the running brooks, 
. Heedless of men and books, 
And heart-sore Wisdom's frowns or magisterial sighs, 
Looking contemptuous down upon our revelries. 

in. 

Have we outgrown the joys 

That fill'd our hearts as boys 1 
And does the music of the thrushes bring 

No more the young delight, 

That in our childhood bright 
Made beautiful the mornings of the spring? 



A PLEA FOR OUR PHYSICAL LIFE. 303 

Ripple the streams no more, 

As hi the days of yore 1 

Or are our ears so dulPd by commerce with our kind, 
That we can hear no hymns between the trees and wind? 

IV. 

In our too plodding homes 

We ponder over tomes, 
Ledger and day-book, till we quite forget 

That there are fields and bowers, 

And river-banks and flowers, 
And that we owe our languid limbs a debt : 

A debt most sweet to pay 

A needful holiday 

A brain-refreshing truce, 'mid intellectual strife, ^ 
That, fought too keenly out, impairs the mortal life. 

v. 

We do our nature wrong 

Neglecting over-long 
The bodily joys that help to make us wise 

The ramble up the slope 

Of the high mountain-cope 
The long day's walk, the vigorous exercise, 

The fresh, luxurious bath. 

Far from the trodden patn, 

Or 'mid the ocean waves dashing with harmless roar, 
Lifting us off our feet upon the sandy shore. 

VI. 

Kind Heaven ! there is no end 

Of pleasures as we wend . 
Our pilgrimage in life's undevious way, 

If we but know the laws 

Of the Eternal Cause, 
And for His glory and pur good obey. 

But intellectual pride 

Sets half these joys aside, 
And our perennial care absorbs the soul so much, 
That life burns cold and dim beneath its deadening touch. 

VII. 

What pleasures he hath miss'd 

Who struggles to exist 
Amid fictitious wants, and luxuries vain ; 

Spending his youth and prime 

As if our comrade, Time, 
Were but a servitor in Mammon's train 

And, waking up at last, 

When threescore years have pass'd, 
With stiff and palsied joints, and just enough of breath 
To own how wrong he was, and pay his court to Death. 



304 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



vin. 

Welcome, ye plump green meads, 

Ye streams and sighing reeds ! 
Welcome, ye corn-fields, waving like a sea ! 

Welcome, the leafy bowers, 

And children gathering flowers ! 
And farewell, for awhile, sage drudgery ! 

What though we're growing old. 

Our blood is not yet cold : 

Come with me to the fields, thou man of many ills, 
And give thy limbs a chance among the daffoails ! 

IX. 

Come with me to the woods, 

And let their solitudes 
Re-echo to our voices as we go. 

Upon thv weary brain 

Let childhood come again, 
Spite of thv wealth, thy learning, or thy woe ! 

Stretch forth thy limbs, and leap 

Thy life has been asleep ; 

And though the wrinkles deep may furrow thy pale brow, 
Show me, if thou art wise, how like a child art thou ! 



THE IVY IN THE DUNGEON. 



THE ivy in a dungeon grew 
Unfed by ram, uncheer d by dew ; 
Its pallia leaflets only drank 
Cave-moistures foul, and odours dank. 

ii. 

But through the dungeon-grating high 
There fell a sunbeam from the sky ; 
It slept upon the grateful floor 
In silent gladness evermore. 

in. 

The ivy felt a tremor shoot 
Through all its fibres to the root : 
It felt the light, it saw the ray, 
It strove to blossom into day. 

IV. 

It grew, it crept, it push'd, it clomb 
Long had the darkness been its home ; 
But well it knew, though veiTd in night, 
The goodness and the joy of light. 



v. 

Its clinging roots grew deep and strong ; 
Its stem expanded firm and long ; 
And in the currents of the air 
Its tender branches flourish 'd fair. 

VI. 

It reach'd the beam it thrill'd it 

curl'd 
It bless'd the warmth that cheers the 

world ; 

It rose towards the dungeon bars 
It look'd upon the sun and stars. 

VII. 

It felt the life of bursting Spring, 
It heard the happy sky-lark sing. 
It caught the breath of morns and eves, 
And wooed the swallow to its leaves. 

VIII. 

By rains, and dews, and sunshine fed, 
Over the outer wall it spread ; 
And in the daybeam waving free, 
It grew into a steadfast tree. 



SUMMER SHADES. 



305 



IX. 

Upon that solitary place 
Its verdure threw adorning grace. 
The mating birds became its guests, 
And sang its praises from their nests. 

x. 

To every dungeon comes a ray 

Of God's interminable day. 

Wouldst thou know the moral of s the 

rhyme ? 
Behold the heavenly light and climb ! 



SUMMER SHADES. 

i. 

UNDER the trees 

Let me lie at ease ; 

To muse or slumber, wake or dream, 

Lull'd by the ripple of the stream ; 

By the buzzing of bees like a trumpet 

tune 
By the whisper of leaves to the wind of 

noon, 

That scarcely stirs the upper boughs, 
Or wafts a breath to feverish brows ; 
By the clink that sounds amid the grass, 
Like temper'd steel on greaves of brass, 
As the mail-clad grasshoppers chirp and 

pass. 

Luird by these murmurs, many in one, 
A refugee from the sultry sun, 
Beneath the trees I love to lie, 
Heedless how the time goes by 
Heedless, thoughtless, happy ever, 
On the greensward by the river. 

IT. 

On the streamiet's mossy brink 

The thrush and linnet bathe and drink ; 

There the tender violets grow, 

And the water-lilies float and blow ; 

And the humble daisy-blossoms spread 

Their snow-white petals tipp'd with red ; 

Into its breast the oak-tree drops 

The abortive acorn-cups ; 

And the beaches scatter their loosen'd 

leaves 

Far adown the panting beeves 
Cool the hoof and switch the tail, 
And gaze upon the waters pale 



With mild eyes, grateful for the shade 

By the o'er-arching verdure made; 

Over its breast the dragon-fly 

Darts in silken brilliancy ; 

And a myriad happy living things 

Sport their variegated wings ; 

A little, but a lovely brook, 

It flows through many a o^uiet nook ; 

A vein of life, a bounty given, 

Refreshing Earth, reflecting Heaven. 

in. 

By the sultry day opprest, 

Sweet are shadows, sweet is rest ; 

Shade, and rest, and cooling wind, 

And half vacuity of mind 

Drowsy waking, watchful sleep; 

And a feeling calm and deep, 

That though the world may fret and 

moil, 

And busy slaves in cities broil, 
Their sweltering care affects not us, 
Under the leaves luxurious. 

IV. 

Peace in the spirit and the brain 
A sense of life unmix'd with pain 
Give me these, sultry Summer ! . 
And to thy shades a frequent comer, 
I'll lie and dream on the wavy grass, 
And let the pomp and pageant pass 
Of the great world ; nor waste one hour 
Of life and duty in thy bower. 
The fallow mind, like fallow field, 
May after-crops of fulness yield ; 
And a wise Indolence may be 
The mother of new Industry. 
So Summer Shades your worth I tell, 
And woo you oft and love you well. 



THE GARDEN SPIDER, 

i. 

THOUGH fear'd by many, scorn'd by all, 
Poor spider on my garden wall, 
Accused as ugly, cruel, sly, 
And seen with an averted eye ; 
Thou shalt not lack one friend to claim 
Some merit for thy injured name, 
If I have strength to right the wrong, 
Or in men's memory lives my song. 
20 



306 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



ii. 



Men call thee ugly ; did they look 
With closer eyes on Nature's book, 
They might behold in seeing thee 
A creature robed in brilliancy ; 
They might admire thy speckled back 
Begemm'd with purple, gold, and black ; 
Thy hundred eyes, with diamond rims ; 
Thy supple and resplendent limbs. 

in. 

They call thee cruel ; but forget, 
Although thy skilful trap be set 
To capture the unwary prey, 
That thou must eat as well as they. 
No pamper'd appetites hast thou ; 
What kindly Nature's laws allow 
Thou takest for thy daily food, 
And kindly Nature owns it good. 

IV. 

Fie on us ! we who hunt and kill, 
Voracious, but unsated still ; 
Who ransack earth, and sea, and air, 
And slay all creatures for our fare, 
Complain of thee, whose instinct leads, 
Unerring, to supply thy needs, 
Because thou takest now and then 
A fly, thy mutton, to thy deu. 

v. 

And then we call thee sly, forsooth, 
As if from earliest dawn of youth 
We did not lay our artful snares 
For rabbits, woodcocks, larks, and hares, 
Or lurk all day by running brooks 
To capture fish with cruel hooks, 
And with a patient, deep, deceit 
Betray them with a counterfeit. 

VI. 

So let the thoughtless sneer or laugh ; 
I'll raise my voice in thy behalf. 
The rife thou livest, Nature meant 
It cannot be but innocent ; 



She gave thee instinct to obey, 
Her faultless hand design'd thy prey ; 
And if thou killest, well we know 
; Tis need, not sport, compels the blow. 

VII. 

And while I plead thy simple case 
Against the slanderers of tny race, 
And think thy skilful web alone 
Might for some venial faults atone, 
I will not pass unnoticed by 
Thy patience in calamity, 
Thy courage to endure or wait, 
Thy self-reliance strong as Fate. 

VIII. 

Should stormy wind or thunder-shower 
Assail thy web in evil hour ; 
Should ruthless hand of lynx-eyed boy, 
Or the prim gardeners rake, destroy 
The clever mathematic maze 
Thou spreadest in our garden ways, 
No vain repinings mar thy rest, 
No idle sorrows fill thy breast. 

IX. 

Thou mavst perchance deplore thy lot, 
Or sigh that fortune loves thee not ; 
But never dost thou sulk and mope, 
Or lie and groan, forgetting hope ; 
Still with a patience, calm and true, 
Thou workest all thywork anew, 
As if thou felt that Heaven is just 
To every creature of the dust, 

x. 

And that the Providence whose plan 

Gives life to spiders as to man, 

Will ne'er accord its aid divine 

To those who lazily repine ; 

But that all strength to those is given 

Who help themselves, and trust in 

Heaven. 

Poor insect ! to that faith I cling 
I learn thy lesson while I sing. 






THE OLD YEAR'S REMONSTRANCE. 307 

THE OLD YEAR'S REMONSTRANCE, 
i. 

THE Old Year lay on his death-bed lone, 

And ere he died he spoke to me, 
Low and solemn in under tone, 

Mournfully, reproachfully. 
The fading eyes in his snow-white head 

Shone bright the while their lids beneath. 
These were the words the Old Year said 

I shall never forget them while I breathe : 

ii. 
'Did you not promise when I was born' 

Sadly he spoke, and not in ire 
' To treat me kindly not to scorn 

And to pay the debts you owed my sire ? 
Did you not vow, with an honest heart, 

Your unconsider'd hours to hive ? 
And to throw no day in waste away, 

Of my three hundred and sixty-five ? 

in. 
' Did you not swear to your secret self, 

Before my beard was a minute old, 
That whatever you'd done to my fathers gone, 

You'd prize my minutes more than gold ? 
Did you not own, with a keen regret, 

That the past was a time of waste and sin ? 
But that with me, untainted yet, 

Wisdom and duty should begin ? 

IV. 

' Did you not oft the vow renew 

That never with me should folly dwell ? 
That, however Fate might deal with you. 

You'd prize me much, and use me well ? 
That never a deed of scorn or wrath, 

Or thought unjust of your fellow-men, 
Should, while I lived, obscure your path, 

Or enter in your heart again ? 

v. 

' Did you not fail ? but my tongue is weak 
Your sad short -comings to recall/ 

And the Old Year sobb'd 'twas vain to speak- 
And turri'd his thin face to the wall. 

* Old Year ! Old Year ! I've done you wrong 
Hear my repentance ere you die ! 

Linger awhile ! ' Ding-dong, ding-dong 
The joy-bells drown'd Ms parting sigh. 

VI. 

' Old Year ! Old Year ! ' he could not hear, 
He yielded placidly his breath. 



308 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

I loved him little while he was here, 

I prized him dearly after death. 
New Year ! now smiling at my side, 

Most bitterly the past I rue. 
I've leam'd a lesson since he died, 

I'll lead a better life with you. 



THE NEW YEAR'S PROMISES. 



THE New Year came with a bounding 

step, 

Jovial, lusty, full of glee ; 
While the brazen rhymes of the church- 
bell chimes, 

Like an eager crowd exultingly, 
Hurried along on the crisp cold air, 
To herald his birth to thee and me. 

n. 

He stood beside us fair and young, 
He laid his warm hand upon mine ; 
Our hearth glow'd bright with a cheer- 
ful light, 

And our eyes lit up with a keener shine, 
As we raised a goblet brimming o'er, 
And pledged him in the ripe red wine. 

in. 

I know not if the merry guests 
Heard the words that I could hear ; 
If on that morn when he was bora 
They held communion with the Year ; 
But this I know, he spoke to me 
In low sweet accents, silver clear : 

IV. 

' My sire,' quoth he, ' is dead and gone ; 
He served thee ill or served thee well, 
But only did as he was bid ; 
Thou wert the master of his spell ; 
He took his character from thee 
Most willing and most tractable. 

v. 

1 Such is my promise ; weigh its worth ; 
If thou'lt be sad, I'll help thee sigh ; 
If thou wilt play thy life away, 
What friend shall aid thee more than I ? 



Whatever the colour of thy mind, 
I'll wear it for my livery. 

VI. 

' If thou'lt be busy, I will toil. 

And aid the work that thou hast 

plann'd ; 

If thou wilt quaff, or jest, or laugh, 
Mine hours shall waste at thy command ; 
If thou'lt endeavour to be wise, 
I'll aid thy soul to understand. 

vrr. 

* Do with me as thou wilt, good friend ; 
I'll be thy slave in time to be, 
But when I pass whate'er I was 
I am the master over thee. 
My father's ghost inspires my words ; 
Take heed ! make friends with 

Memory. 

VIII. 

' To-morrow and To-day I'm thine, 
But all my Yesterdays mis-spent 
Shall live as foes to thy repose, 
And clog thy spirit's free ascent ; 
Pursue thee when thou know'st it not, 
And haunt thee to thy detriment.' 

IX. 

The New Year's face was calm and sad : 
His words still floated through my brain ; 
When the guests around with joyous 

sound 

Gave him a welcome once again : 
' May he be better than the last ! ' 
Was aye the burden of their strain. 

x. 
And the New Year's face grew bright 

as ours ; 
Friends, kinsmen, lovers, true and tried, 



THE TICK OF THE CLOCK. 



309 



We form'd the prayer that Heaven 

might spare 

Our hearts to bless him when he died : 
And thus we usher'd the New Year 

in, 
And welcoiu'd him to our fireside. 



THE TICK OF THE CLOCK. 



EVERY tick of the clock 

Beckons us to depart, 

Robs us of life and youth, 

And pushes us to the grave. 

On, without ceasing, on ! 

Pushes us to the grave, 

Over a yawning chasm 

No wider than a hair, 

But never to be repass'd 

By foot of mortal man 

Or flight of an angel's wings 
Pushes us on, in light or gloom, 
On, on for ever, to the world beyond the 
tomb. 

ii. 

Every tick of the clock 

Is a greeting of the Past, 

To the Future newly born, 

A farewell of To-day 

To the Past that is no more ; 

A universe of Time, 

Containing in itself 

Yesterday as its germ, 

To-day as its perfect flower 

To-morrow as its fruit ; 

But neither of them ours, 
Except to draw a feeble breath 
On the mournful and weary road that 
leads us down to death. 

in. 

Every tick of the clock 
Makes a notch in the doom of kings 
And of empire hoary gray 
With the dust of a thousand years, 
And proud with the pride of strength 
That has borne a thousand shocks, 
And thinks, in its high conceit, 
That in a world of change 
No change can trouble its rest, 
Or shake it to the dust, 



And tells, with dull monotonous sound, 
That empires fade like men, and cease 
to cumber the ground. 



IV. 



'Twas but the tick of a clock 

That sent Assyria down, 

A wreck on the billowy time ; 

That shook out Egypt's pride, 

As the winnower snakes the chaff; 

That jostled imperial Rome 

Out of her haughty seat, 

And spilt the wine of her power 

Like rain-drops in the dust ; 

That crumpled Byzantium up 

Like a straw in a strong man's hand, 

And that yet shall shatter a thousand 
thrones 

Built high to reproving Heaven, on 
mounds of human bones. 



v. 

'Twill be but a tick of the clock, 
Britain ! land supreme, 
When thou art rotten and ripe, 
That shall hustle thee to the earth ! 
That shall prick the bubble of France 
As with Ithuriel's spear, 
And that yet in the striding time, 
Young giant of the West, 
So insolent in thy strength 
And thy ignorance of the past, 
Shall rip thee into shreds, 
And parcel out thv wide domain 
'Mid a hundred chiefs and conquerors, 
to rob, and rule, and reign ! 

VI. 

Oh mournful tick of the clock, 
Sounding, though none may heed, 
The knell of all that live. 
And ringing the bridal chime 
Of the Future with the Past. 
Be thou for ever my friend, 
And I, though I toil and moil, 
Shall be greater and happier far 
Than Caesar on his throne, 
And fear nor Life, nor Death, 
Content when my summons comes 
To doff the perishing garb of clay, 
And soar on the wings of the morning 
light to the dawn of another day. 



310 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

WINIFRED. 



SWEET Winifred sits at the cottage door, 
The rose and the woodbine shadow it o'er, 
And turns to the clear blue summer skies 
The clearer blue of her soft young eyes- 
Turns to the balmy wind of the south 
Her feverish, supplicating mouth, 
To ask from Heaven and the sunny glow 
The health she lost long, long ago. 

ii. 

The rose on her cheeks is rose too red, 

The light in her eyes is lightning sped, 

And not the calm and steady ray 

Of youth and strength in their opening day ; 

Her hands are lily-pale and thin. 

You can see the blood beneath the skin ; 

Something hath smitten her to the core, 

And she wastes and dwindles evermore. 

in. 

She thinks, as she sits in the glint o' the sun, 
That her race is ended ere well begun, 
And turns her luminous eyes aside 
To one who asks her to be his bride 
Invisible to all but her, 
Her friend, her lover, her worshipper ; 
Who stretches forth his kindly hand, 
And saith what her heart can understand. 

IV. 

'Winifred ! Winifred ! be thou mine, 
Many may woo thee, many may pine, 
To win from thy lips the sweet caress, 
But thpu canst not give it, or answer ' yes.' 
There is not one amid them all, 
To whom if the prize of thyself should fall, 
Who would not suffer more cruel pain 
Than would ever spring from thy disdain. 

v. 

' Only to me canst thou be given 

The bridegroom sent to thee from Heaven ; 

Come to me ! Come ! Thy dower shall be 

The wealth of Immortality. 

Eternal youth, perennial joy, 

And love that never shall change or cloy ; 

All shall be thine the hour we wed, 

Sweet Winifred 1 Be mine ! ' he said. 



THE BLIND MAN'S FIRESIDE. 



311 



VI. 

* Take me ! ' she answer'd, -with faint low breath 
' I know thee well. Thy name is DEATH. 
I've look'd on thy merciful face too long 
To think of thee as a pain or wrong. 
I know thou'lt keep thy promise true, 
And lead me life's dark portals through, 
Up ! up ! on wings to the starry dome, 
Up ! up to Heaven ! my bridal home.' 

VII. 

He laid his hand on her trembling wrist, 
Her beautiful, coy, cold lips he kiss'd, 
And took her away from sister and brother, 
From sorrowing sire and weeping mother ; 
From all she loved. With a smile she went, 
Of peace and patience and sweet content. 
'Twas but life s vesture laid in the sod, 
'Twas lif e itself at the throne of God ! 



THE BLIND MAN'S FIRESIDE. 

TALK to me, oh ye eloquent flames, 

Gossips and comrades fine ! 
Nobody knows me, poor and blind, 

That sit in your merry shine. 
Nobody knows me but my dog ; 

A friend I've never seen, 
But that comes to my call, and loves me 

For the sympathies between. 

'Tis pleasant to hear in the cold, dark 
night, 

Mounting higher and higher, 
The crackling, chattering, sputtering, 
spattering, 

Flames in the wintry fire. 
Half asleep in the corner, 

I hear you prattle and snap, 
And talk to me and Tiny, 

That dozes in my lap. 

You laugh with the merriest laughter ; 

You dance, you jest, you sing. 
And suggest in the wintry midnight 

The joys of the coming spring. 
Not even the lark on the fringe of the 

cloud, 

Nor the thrush on the hawthorn 
bough, 



Singeth a song more pleasant to hear 
Than the song you re singing now. 

Your voices are all of gladness : 

Ever they seem to say, 
After the evening morning ! 

After the nightthe day ! 
After this mortal blindness, 

A heavenly vision clear, 
The soul can see when the eyes are dark; 

Awake ! let the light appear ! 



THE FESTIVAL OF ST MARC. 

DURING THE AUSTRIAN OCCUPATION 

or VENETIA. 1855. 



THROUGH the old city 

The gondolas crawl, 
Sable and doleful 

And coffin-like all. 
Bright though the sunshine, 

And blue though the skies. 
Deep over Venice 

A shadow there lies. 
Day cannot cover it, 
Death watches over it, 

With his dim eyes. 



312 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



ii. 
The broad Canalazzo 

Is c[uiet as glass, 
O'er its calm waters 

The gondolas pass ; 
So dimly, so smoothly, 

So sadly they go, 
"Wer't not for the morning 

That glitters below, 
You'd fancy Styx river 

And Charons that row. 

in. 

Each lordly palazzo 

That borders the stream, 
Like something remembered, 

Or seen in a dream, 
Stands lovely, but ghostlike, 

And he who looks on 
Imagines the vision 

Must change, or be gone. 
The ripple behind him, 

Or plash of the oar, 
Scarce breaks the reflexion 

Of palace and shore. 
It quivers a moment, 

And sleeps as before, 
So clear is the mirror, 

That shadow and stone 
Seem equally silent, 

And lifeless, and Ic 



lone. 



IV. 



And yet 'tis a holiday ! 

Hark to the bells 
The old Campanile 

With melody swells. 
From pestilent alleys, 

Dark, narrow, and warm, 
Across the Ilialto 

The multitudes swarm. 
The bridges four hundred 

Are teeming with life, 
The maid and the lover, 

The husband and wife, 
The master and servant, 

The old and the young, 
Come forth to the sunshine, 

The joy-bells are rung; 
St Marc's fair Piazza 

Feels warmth on its breast, 
A flash of enjoyment 

Comes breaking its rest. 



The corpse has been quicken'd, 
It stretches its limbs ; 

Float banners ! sound music ! 
Swell aves and hymns ! 

v. 

This hour, if no other, 

Shall Venice be gay, 
St Mark is her patron, 

And this is his day. 
His temple and basilisk 

Opens its doors, 
And round the high altar 

The multitude pours. 
Be of it, and enter ! 

And leave until morn 
The halls of the Doges 

So dim and forlorn. 
Why linger with shadows, 

When substance is fled? 
The living are with us 

Come out from the dead ! 

VI. 

Vainly ! oh, vainly ! 

Their works are around, 
Their deeds and memorials 

Encumber the ground. 
Ten centuries whisper, 

And start from the stones, 
Greeks, Romans, Venetians, 

Dominions ana tlirones ; 
Their heroes still scarlet, 

With blood which they spilt, 
Their doges empurpled 

W T ith glory and guilt, 
Gleam out from the casement ; 

They stand by the wall, 
They start from the Duomo, 

They brood over all. 

VII. 

'Tis holiday ! holiday ! 

Festival dear, 
Beloved of the neople, 

And first of the year. 
Old Venice rejoicing 

Kneels down at the shrine, 
And prays for protection 

And favour divine ; 
Leaves trouble behind ii 

Shuts business at home, 
To hear the Archbishop 

Sing mass in the Dome. 



THE FESTIVAL OF ST MARK. 



313 



VIII. 

Archbishop and Cardinal 

Lo ! he appears 
ArraVd in his purple, 

A king 'mid his peers 
But laden, deep laden, 

O'erladen with years ! 
He totters, he trembles 

He creeps to his place, 
His eighty dark winters 

Beshadincf his face. 
L?hey robe him and crown him ; 

They kneel at his feet, 
And bishops and deacons 

Their aves repeat. 
Old, withered, and feeble, 

They nod as they go, 
Their eyes lacking lustre. 

Their heads like the snow ; 
And incense is scattered, 

And music is pour'd. 
And voices are blended 

In praise to the Lord. 

IX. 

Be calm, oh, my spirit ! 

What though at the shrine 
The prayers which they utter 

May differ from thine : 
A thought may unite them 

A thought unexpress'd, 
Inspiring and lifting, 

And filling the breast. 
The form of the worship 

Is rind on the bole, 
The fruit of religion 

Is Love in the soul. 
Oh ! selfish and wayward ! 

Oh ! fancy run wild, 
That will not and may not 

Be train'd like a child, 
But wanders and frolics, 

Like breeze on the hill, 
To cloudland or daisy, 

Wherever it will ! 
It sails with the music 

To seas without bound, 
It floats in the sunshine, 

In darkness is drown'd ; 
It climbs the high organ 

Up mountains of sound ; 
Now hears the white pinions 

That ruffle the air, 



And voices angelic 

That mingle in prayer ; 
Then earthwards descending, 

Goes gathering flowers, 
And welcomes the cuckoo 

Return'd to her bowers ; 
Then launch'd upon waters, 

Goes down on the streams, 
To regions ecstatic 

Of slumber and dreams 

x. 

Breathe gently, sweet music ! 

Sound faintly afar ! 
Fall, melody, softly, 

Like light from a star ! 
Melt, harmonies, lovingly ! 

Fuse into one, 
Like dew-drops on rose-leaves, 

Like dawn in the sun ; 
Like friends re-united 

When perils are pass'd ; 
Like lovers long parted, 

Made happy at last ; 
Dissever to mingle 

Like fond lips, when coy, 
And blend all your echoes 

In Beauty and Joy ! 
In Beauty ? aye ever ! 

But Joy nevermore ! 
The music is mournful 

As waves on the shore, 
As streams that are falling, 

As moan of the wind, 
Or whisper of angels 

Who pity mankind. 

XI. 

Oh, music enchantress ! 

Thy magic instil ! 
I yield thee my spirit 

To guide at thy will. 
Thy thoughts shall impress me, 

Thy meaning be mine, 
Clear- voyant ; deep-diving 

I see the Divine 
Time, Space, and Obstruction 

No longer control, 
And vision elysian 

Comes down to my soul ! 

XII. 

And what were thy visions, 
Oh ! dreamer of dreams 2 



314 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



The daylight came prying, 

And dull'd them with beams. 
Too shapeless for Reason, 

Though born in its light, 
They paled into phantoms 

In memory's night. 
Dim phantoms of banners 

For conquest unfmTd, 
Of brows bright with diamonds, 

Of bosoms empearl'd, 
Of Venice, the mistress 

. And Queen of the world ; 
Of argosies laden 

With damask and gold, 
Of tributes barbaric 

From kingdoms grown old ; 
Of spousals fantastic 

And rings in the tide ; 
Of Venice the bridegroom, 

And Ocean the bride, 
So mingled together 

That nought could divide. 

XIII. 

Then changing and fading, 

And thawing to death, 
'Mid tearful lamenting 
And tardy repenting, 

That struggled for breath. 
'Mid sobbings of women 

And voices of wail, 
And grief-laden echoes 

Borne far on the gale ; 
'Mid headless Falieros, 

Each ghost hi its shroud, 
That paced round the Duomo, 

Unseen of the crowd ; 
'Mid prisoners clanking 

Their chains as they crept, 
And maids who dishevelM 

Their hah* as they wept ; 
While louder and clearer, 

And rising to fall, 
A dirge and a requiem 

Were heard over all ; 
A dirge for dead Venice, 

So fair in decay, 
A sigh for the glory 

Departed for aye 
Desolate ! Desolate ! 

Faded away ! 

ice, April, 1855. 



THE OLD MAGDALEN AT ST 
STEPHAN'S. 

DESPISED and wretched, poor and old, 
And shivering in the winter cold ; 
So squalid and tatter'd, so bare and thin, 
[ have a heart and a hope within. 
[ thread each day the crowded street 
With weary and uncertain feet ; 
And ever the well-clad passers-by, 
With vacant or reproachful eye, 
Look down on my rags, or step aside 
For fear their garments, or their pride, 
Should catch a spot of dirt or shame, 
From the wretch, the hag without a 

name, 

Who crawls in their sunlight as they go ; 
But let them pass! they little know 
How boils the lava down below ! 
Or how the heart-strings of the poor 
Can throb with passion yet endure ! 

Ay ! let them pass ! not quite forlorn, 
I can repay them, scorn for scorn ! 
Not scorn ! ah, no ! sweet Magdalen ! 
And Mary, mother ; Queen of men ; 
Dear women ! purest saints in Heaven ! 
Pray that my boast may be forgiven ! 
'Tis human weakness, lingering still, 
A thought that comes against the will. 
Fordve it ; scorn is not for me, 
With seventy years of misery ; 
So vile, so wicked, and so weak ; 
Oh, Mary ! hear me when I speak ; 
Oh, Virgin Mary ! angel mine ; 
Look on me with those eyes divine ; 
I feel them burn ! I feel them shine ! 
The husk shall rot that swathes me now; 
I shall be beautiful as thou, 
Engirt in glory as in balm, 
And wear the crown, and bear the palm ! 

Here in the aisles of Saint Stephan, 
Before the bleeding ' God-in-Man, J 
My seventy years, my daily pain, 
My poverty, my guilt's deep stain, 
Roll from me like the stormy rain ; 
And leave me young and lily-white, 
A flower to blossom in the light 
Of heavenly glories infinite. 

For me ! for me ! ever for me, 
The deep-toned organ, like a sea 



THE BEECH-TREE A VENUE. 



315 



Of mystery, surging on mine ears, 
Reveals the music of the spheres ; 
And wafts me on its waves and tides 
To heaven's own gate, among the brides, 
Who, in white garments, strewn with 

stars, 

Look humbly through the golden bars, 
Until they hear the Bridegroom say : 
' Your place awaits you ; come away; 
Come in, for ever bright and young ! 
Your crowns are made ; your harps are 

strung ; 

Come in and walk the sapphire floor 
Blessed ; thrice blessed evermore ! ' 

For me, the mean, the scorn'd, the base. 
Are pomp and splendour, power and 

grace ; 

For me the incense-bearers fling 
More sweets than load the breath of 

Spring, 

For me the holy bishops sing ; 
For me their anthems, low or loud, 
Stream like the sunshine through the 

cloud ; 

For me their chants like billows roar, 
Or melt like ripples on the shore ; 
For me the choir, so childlike fair, 
With golden locks of flowing hair. 
And flute-like hymns that pierce the air, 
Mingle, amid the bass profound, 
Their voices now afloat now 

drown'd, 



And now upsoaring, as if wings 
Were lent them by the King of kings, 
To fly beyond this earthly cell, 
Right up to Heaven ineffable ! 

Mine are the robes, the priests, the 

shrines, 

The altars, and the aisles' long lines, 
The windows purple, red, and green 
( A11 radiant with celestial sheen 
That seize the sun-robe by its hems, 
And twist or cut it into gems ; 
Mine are the sculptured saints sublime, 
The lamps, the pictures, the rich rhyme, 
The myrrh, the manna, and the blooms, 
Of mingling incense and perfumes ! 
Come, queen ! come, empress ! come 

and wear 

A thousand diamonds in your hair ; 
Come with your eyes more bright than 

they; 
Bring youth, health, strength, and rich 

array, 

And dazzle all the crowd that see ; 
Kneel down ! you cannot dazzle me ! 
Here on this pavement bending low, 
I am your equal ! If not so 
I rise superior by my woe ! 
By woe, by patience, and by love, 
Of Magdalen, sweet saint above ; 
Who suffered, sinn'd, and wept as I, 
And pleads my pardon in the sky. 

Vienna, April, 1855. 



THE PAGEANT IN THE BEECH-TREE AVENUE. 



IN the fair November, glowing like an ember, 
All its leaves fire-colour' d, by the summer's breath, 

Lovely 'mid its sorrow, as a young May-morrow 
In its lusty triumph over wintry Death, 

Were it not for thinking of the dark To-be ; 

J beheld a pageant, beautiful to see, 

'A pageant and a vision, in the public way, 

Underneath the shadows, in the noon of day. 

n. 

Many things I ponder'd, as alone I wander'd, 
Up to Castle Mowbray, through the beech-tree walks ; 

Under leafy net-work domed, like Gothic fret- work 
In cathedral archways, on their pillar'd stalls.; ;:o .-..KJ 



316 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

To my silent fancy, earth had borrowed gloom 
From the western turret, and its darken d room ; 
Where the Lord of Mowbray, dying, if not dead, 
'Mid his weeping children, lay upon his bed. 

in. 

Through the woodland hoary, with autumnal glory, 

Pass'd a slow procession to the castle-gate ; 
Earls and barons olden, silver knights and golden, 

Clad in clanking armour, haughty and sedate. 
First with lifted vizor, fiery-eyed, but pale, 
Kode the line's great founder, stiff with burnish'd mail. 
Him there follow'd nobles, courtiers, cavaliers, 
Warriors, hunters, judges, orators, and peers. 

IV. 

In their spectral glances I could read romances, 
Terrible life-secrets, ransack'd from the tomb. 

Some rode bold and lusty, grasping falchions trusty ; 
Others, old and feeble, shiver'd in the gloom ; 

Some like simple burghers, pass'd in russet brown ; 

Some wore silk and velvet, some the wig and gown ; 

Some were robed in purple, as for feast and dance, 

And others, as for battle, poised the heavy lance. 

v. 

Well I knew their faces ; on them, in their places, 
In the hall of portraits, in their oaken frames, 

I had gazed untiring, curious and inquiring, 
Groping put their story, and their ancient names. 

One had sail'd with Richard to the Holy Laud ; 

One waylaid in travel, fell by robber's hand; 

One had died a traitor on the fatal block, 

And many for their country, in the battle-shock. 

VI. 

One had slain his brother, darling of his mother, 
And, hi late repentance, donn'd the priestly stole ; 

One, with dice and horses, and all evil courses. 
Damaged fame and fortune, and perchance his soul ; 

One, of heart aspiring, woo'd and won a queen ; 

One the miller's daughter, on the village green. 

Some look'd round in marriage, others look'd above ; 

While twenty wed for money, and two or three for love. 

VIL 

One in hour of danger, from his home a stranger, 
Fled the State commotions, that might overwhelm ; 

One had served the nation, in its desolation 
Hurling in the senate, words that rouse a realm. 

One had sold his honour for a monarch's smile ; 

One, on seat of judgment, braving fraud and guile, 



THE BEECH-TREE A VENUE. 317 

And all force opposing, dared unrighteous power 

To touch the people's freedom, their heritage and dower. 

VIII. 

Through the Norman portal, rode the gray, immortal, 

Shadowy, spectral fathers, sadly one by one ; 
Them there f ollow'd, slowly, with meek eyes, and lowly, 

Sorrow-pale, a mother, weeping for her son ; 
In her morn of beauty seventy years before, 
She had died in childbirth, and the babe she bore. 
Old, on death-bed lying, pray'd, and faintly smiled, 
Yielding up his spirit calmly as a child. 

IX. 

Flashes evanescent, pale, and phosphorescent, 

Lit the western turret suddenly as thought ; 
Voices seem'd replying, to the sere leaves sighing, 

As the wind among them crept along distraught 
As beneath the archway, pass'd that mother fair, 
With her glancing shoulders, and her auburn hair, 
And her pallid features, which the grave had kiss'd, 
And her trailing garments, thin us morning mist. 

x. 

Entering in sadness \ issuing in gladness ! 

Through the gate, unopeu'd, shivering on its hinge, 
Out she came resplendent, with a soul attendant, 

Wearing clouds for vesture, and the stars for fringe. 
Young and lovely mother ! son of ancient years ! 
Tenderly she led him, smiling through her tears ; 
Striving to support him with a loving hand, 
And pointing, with raised finger, to the spirit-land. 

XI. 

Following in order, down the beechen border, 
Rode the ancestral phalanx ; till the passing bell, 

With the dead condoling, through the village tolling,' 
From the castle turret, boom'd its solemn knell. 

And a wind up-curling faintly from the ground, 

Stirr'd the beech-tree branches with a whispering sound; 

And like darkness melting at the face of day, 

All the ghostly pageant waned and died away. 

Belclworth, Suirey, November, 1855. 



318 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

THE INVISIBLE CROWN. 



AMID the crowded streets and roar of voices, 

Unnoticed by the multitude he goes, 
Alone, but watchful : if the world rejoices, 

He smiles ; and if it weeps, he shares its woes : 
But no one shares in his : his ways are lonely : 

The millions pass him, for they cannot see 
His glory and his misery ; but only 

One of themselves ; a leaf upon the tree ; 
A raindrop in the torrent ; one small grain 
Wash'd on the stormy shore of Life's sad main. 

IL 

With them he is ; but of them ? Ah ! not so ! 

For them are common grief and common gladness, 
But he from regal heights looks down below, 

And finds no comrade for his joy or sadness. 
His feet are on the ways where others travel ; 

His breast is in the clouds ; his forehead fair 
And heavenward eyes that see and would unravel 

Time, Fate, and Man. are in the upper air, 
And catch the dawning light ; but cold and stern, 
Except for thoughts that ever throb and burn. 

in 

Would men but hear the things which he could tell them, 

Would they but own him, he were bless'd indeed ; 
The sorrow and the shame that once befell them, 

But would befall no more, if they would heed, 
Would give him joy to teach ; but \yhat care they? 

They know him not ; or if they did. might love him, 
If hate more potent did not seek to sky, 

For speaking of the things too far above him, 
For them to tolerate ; and so he's dumb, 
And broods in silence on the days to come. 

IV. 

And yet he knows himself to be a king 

A king without a kingdom scorn'd and throneless ! 
Around nis brow there glows the burning ring, 

Sparkling with jewels. From his lips, the moanless, 
Escapes a sigh, that he should wear such crown, 

Such burden and such penalty of splendour, 
And find mid all the mvriads of the town 

No man to say, ' God save him,' or to render 
The homage of a look. Oh, pang supreme ! 
A fact to him though to the world a dream. 

v. 

But still he wears it as a monarch should 
By right divine; and though he might endeavour 



MAN TO MAN. 



319 



To cast it from him, evil more than good. 
And sink into the crowd, unknown for ever, 

If he could barter it for peace of mind, 
And being man, go down into the valleys, 

Amid the household warmth, and welcomes kind, 
Of children sporting in the garden alleys, 

He cannot move it : God alone can take 

The halo from his forehead ! Let it ache ! 

VI. 

'Tis not the pain ; for well could he endure 

A tenfold agony, if through the portals 
Of their dim sight, men could behold him, pure 

Bearing his glory like the old Immortals. 
But they are blind ; for that gold crown he sees ; ^Q 

And feels upon his forehead by its burning, 
Is viewless as the wind among the trees, 

Or thought imutter'd to the brain returning, 
And dying where it sprung. Hence comes his grief ; 
Is there in Man or Nature no relief 1 

VII. 

One word ! One little word ! the humblest spoken, 

Would make him whole ! The word is still unbom,- 
Pity him, Earth and Heaven ! or else heart-broken 

He will go down into the graxe forlorn, 
Too early blighted, all his glorious thought 

Dying within him. Men who boast of seeing, 
Look in his heart and tell us, wisdom-fraught, 

The mystery and Beautv of his Being ! 
The world will gain not he ! Meantime he dies- 
Looking towards the Future and the skies, 



MAN TO MAN. 










i. 

STAND up, man ! stand ! 

God s over all. 
Why do you cringe to me, 
Why do you bend the knee, 

And creep, and fawn, and crawl ? 
Stand up, man, stand ! 
If I thought our English land 
Had no true-hearted poor, 
To suffer and endure 
And hold themselves erect, 
In the light of their own respect, 
I'd blush that I was English born," 
And run away to the wilderness to free 
myself from scorn. 



n. 



Stand up, man, stand ! 

God made us all ! 
The wine transcends the froth 
The living skin, the cloth 

Both rich and poor are small. 
Stand up, man, stand ! 
Free heart, free tongue, free hand, 
Firm foot upon the sod, 
And eyes that fear but God, 
Whate'er your state or name, 
Let these make good you;- claim ! 
If there be anything you want 
Speak up ! we may respect a churl, 
we hate a sycophant. 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



AT THE GRAVE OF ROBERT BURNS. 



LET him rest ! Let him rest ! 

With the green earth on his breast ; 
The daisies grow above him and the long sedge-grasses wave. 

What call or right have you, 

Ye mercenary crew, 
To lift the pitying veil that shrouds him in the grave ] 

Tis true this man could sing, 

Like lark in early spring, 
Or tender nightingale, deep hidden in the bowers ; 

'Tis true that he was wise, 

And that his heavenward eyes, 
Saw far beyond the clouds that dim this world of ours ; 

But is he yours, when dead, 

To rake his narrow bed, 
And peer into his heart for flaws, and spots, and stains ? 

And all because his voice 

Bade multitudes rejoice. 
And cheer'd Humanity amid its griefs and pains? 

ir. 

Let him resf/! Let him rest ! 

With the geen earth on his breast, 
And leave ! oh ifeave ! his fame unsullied by your breath ! 

Each day tllat passes by, 

What meaneXmortals die, 
What thousand rai\lrops fall into the seas of death f 

No vendor of a 

His merchandise foV sale, 
Pries into evidence to show h^w mean were they ; 

No libel touches them, 

No curious fools condemn ; 
Their human frailties sleep, for God, not man, to weigh. 

And shall the bard alone 

Have all liis follies known, 
Dug from the misty past to spice a needless book, 

That Envy may exclaim, 

At mention of his name, 
* The greatest are but small, however great they look'^ 

nr. 

Let them rest, their sorrows o'er, 

All the mighty bards of yore ! 
And if, ye mibbers-up of scandals dead and gone, 

Ye find, amid the slime, 

Some sin of ancient time, 
Some fault, or seeming fault, that Shakespeare might have done ; 



MY NEIGHBOUR. 



321 



Some spot on Milton's truth, 

Or Byron's glowing youth ; 
Some error, not too small for microscopic gaze': 

Shroud it in deepest gloom, 

As on your father's tomb 
You'd hush the evil tongues that spoke in his dispraise. 

Shroud it in darkest night ! 

Or, if compell'd to write 
Tell us the inspiring tale of perils overcome : 

Of struggles for the good, 

Of courage unsubdued, 
But let their frailties rest, and on their faults be dumb ! 



MY NEIGHBOUR. 



HE was prudent, brave, and gentle, 
Living as a man should do ; 

Kept a conscience, did his duty, 
Loved his fellows served them too. 

Modest, virtuous, self-reliant, 
Rich and learned, wise and true. 

ii. 

He had faults, perhaps had many, 
But one fault above them all, 

Lay like heavy lead upon him, 
Tyrant of a patient thrall 

Tyrant seen, confess'd, and hated, 
Banish'd only to recall. 

in. 

'Oh! he drank?' 'His drink was 
water ! ' 

' Gambled ? ' ' No ! he hated play.' 
' Then, perchance, a tenderer failing 

Led his heart and head astray ! ' 
1 No ! both honour and religion 

Kept him in the purer way/ 

IV. 

1 Then, he scoru'd Life's mathematics, 
Could not reckon up a score, 



Pay his debts, or be persuaded 
Two and two were always four/' 

' No ! he was exact as Euclid, 
Prompt and punctual no one more/ 



v. 

' Oh ! a miser ? ' < No ! ' ' Too lavish ? ' 
' Worst of guessers, guess again ! ' 

' No ! I'm weary hunting failures ; 
Was he seen of mortal ken, 

Paragon of marble virtues, 
Quite a model man of men 1 ' 

VI. 

' At his birth an evil spirit 

Charms and spells around him flung, 
And, with well concocted malice, 

Laid a curse upon his tongue ; 
Curse that daily made him wretched, 

Earth's most wretched sons among. 

VII. 

' He could plead, expound, and argue ; 

Fire with wit, witn wisdom glow ; 
But one word for ever fail'd him, 

Source of all his pain and woe, 
Luckless wight ! he could not say it 

Could not dared not answer No ! ' 



21 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



PROFESSOR SCHLAFHAUBE, OF THE UNIVERSITY OF 
HEIDELBERG. 

A PORTRAIT PROM THE LIFE. 

LAZILY runs the tide of human life 

There is no effort in our German land 
Of what avail are ceaseless moil and strife ? 

Is there not time ? Why move, if w can stand ? 
There is no object the wide world can show, 

Worth English hurry, sweat, and sore distress ; 
Let the moons wane ana wax, and come and go, 

And let us Germans doze in happiness ! 

Why should we turn and spin in frantic haste 

When we have seventy years to live and dream ? 
Through cloud and vapour speed is perilous waste, 

Anchor the ship, there's fog upon the stream ! 
And let us sit ana smoke the live-long day, 

With deep-drawn whiffs, and drink the fattening beer ; 
Gazing on earth, or on the wreathlets gray 

That curl above the pipes we love so dear ! 

Pipes ! blessed pipes ! There were no good on earth 

>Vithout tobacco. Give us that, and peace, 
A little sunshine, and the children s mirth ; 

We'll ask no more ! And if pur wealth increase 
Like growing com ; why let it ! We are glad ! 

But trouble us, men of other climes, 
No more with whistling steam, and efforts mad, 

That make us languish for the ancient times. 

Perish the Sultan ! What is he to us ? 

Let Russia flourish ! Why should we complain ? 
Are we the avengers ? Work thy pleasure, Russ ! 

And let us smoke and sleep and smoke again ! 
Firm as a rock let Germany endure ; 

Not like a rocket, blazing from the west ; 
Japan in Europe slow, but very sure ; 

Oh, give us pipes and. peace, and let us rest ! 

Dresden, April, 1855. 



A BAR&S REQUEST. 



323 



A BARD'S REQUEST. 1850. 



WHEN I lie cold in death, 
Bury me where ye will, 
Though if my living breath 
May urge my wishes still, 
When I shall breathe no more ; 

Let my last dwelling be 
Beneath a turf with wild flowers covered 

o'er, 

Under a shady tree, 
A grave where winds may blow and 

sunshine fall, 

And autumn leaves may drop in yearly 
funeral. 

IT, 
I care not for a tomb, 

With sculptured cherubim, 
Amid the solemn doom 

Of old cathedrals dim ; 
I care not for the pride 

Of epitaphs well-meant, 
Nor wish my name with any pomps 

allied, 

When my last breath is spent ; 
Give me a grave beneath the fair green 

trees, 

And an abiding-place in good men's 
memories. 

in. 
But wheresoe'er I sleep, 

I charge you, friends of iinne, 
With adjuration deep 

And by your hopes divine, 
Let no irreverent pen, 

For sake of paltry pay, 
Expose my faults or follies unto men, 

To desecrate my clay ; 
Let none but good men's tongues my 

story tell ; 

Nor even they, I'd sleep unvex'd by 
any knell. 

IV. 

Why should the gaping crowd 

Claim any right to know 
How sped in shine or cloud 

My pilgrimage below ? 
Why should the vulgar gaze 

Be fix'd upon my heart, 



When I am dead, because in living 

days 

. I did my little part 
To sing a music to the march of man 
A lark high carolling to armies in the 
van? 

v. 

But still if crowds will claim 

A moral, to be told, 
From my unwilling name, 

When slumbering in the mould, 
I'll tell the tale myself 

A story ever new 
Yet old as Adam oh, ye men of pelf, 

Ye would not tell it true ! 
But I will tell it in my noon of life, 
And wave the flag aloft ere I depart the 
strife. 

VI. 

I wasted precious youth, 

But learn'd before my prime, 
The majesty of Truth, 

The priceless worth of Time. 
I hoped, and was deceived 

I built without a base 
I err'd I sufferM doubted and 

believed 

I ran a breathless race, 
And when half-way toward the wish'd- 

for goal. 

Despised the bauble crown, for which 
I'd given my soul. 

VII. 

I thought that I was wise, 
When folly was my rule, 
But with late-open'deyes 
Confess'd myself a fool. 
I strove in vain to flee 
The penalty of sin ; 
I pluck'd the apple, Pleasure, from 

the tree, 

And found it dust within. 
I sow'd ill seed in spring-time of my 

years 

And reap'd the natural crop of agony 
and tears. 

VIII. 

I never did a wrong 
That brought not punishment, 



324 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



In sufferings keen and long 

By chastening mercy sent. 
I never did the right 

Without a sweet reward 
Of inward music and celestial light, 

In beautiful accord. 

I never scorn'd but with result of scorn, 
Nor loved without new life when I was 
most forlorn. 

IX. 

I think I loved my kind, 

And strove to serve it too, 
And in my secret mind 

Adored the good and true. 
I know I never dipp'd 

My pen in slime or gall, 
Or wrote a sentence which the purest 

lipp'd 

Would scruple to recall ; 
I think my lyre gave forth a manly tone 
I know I never preach'd opinions not my 
own. 



I found, as man or boy. 

Delight in wild woods green, 
And reap'd perpetual joy 

From every natural scene. 
I nursed amid the crowd 

My human sympathies ; 
To heart and brain they made appeal 

aloud, 

With voice of mysteries. 
And in the forest paths, or cities 

throned, 

Nature was in my soul, and to my soul 
belong'd. 

XI. 

In all my life I felt 

God's presence evermore, 
And reverently knelt 

To love and to adore. 
Such let the record be 

I charge ye, friends of mine, 
Add but a date to this life-history 

The obituary line, 
Say that I lived and died, and did my 

best 

But spare my secret heart, and let my 
f ollies rest ! 



THE MAN AND THE 
MOUNTAIN. 

THE MOUNTAIN. 

WHO art thou ? who art thou ? 
Climbing up to my white brow 
But half the size of the little pine tree 
That grows in the clefts below my knee ? 
What dost want ? and what wouldst do 
Between my cope and the frosty blue ? 
Amid my silent pinnacles 
The hesitating avalanche dwells, 
And issuing from my garner'd snow 
A hundred foaming torrents flow; 
Little creature bold and vain, 
Keep to the safety of the plain, 
Nor tempt the heights, where, all alone, 
I hurl the tempests from my throne. 

THE MAN. 

Proud mountain since thou'st found a 

tongue, 
Back be thy defiance flung ! 
Small as I am, and mighty thou, 
With all thy centuries on thy brow, 
I climb thy neights to make thee mine 
From thy nether forests of waving pine, 
Up to thy barest steeps afar, 
Wnere the icicles gleam to the Polar 

star! 

What are thy crags and glaciers rude, 
Unless in their pregnant solitude 
They teach me things I pine to know ? 
What are thy pinnacles of snow, 
Thy caverns where the whirlwinds grow, 
And all thy rivers, so fierce and free, 
Unless they minister to me ? 
Great and awful as thou art, 
Thou art but little to my heart ; 
And thy supreme magnificence 
Is but the creature of my sense. 
True, I am smaller than the pine 
That grows beneath those feet of thine ; 
But I r m thy master, thou not mine. 
I can measure thee, up and down, 
Base and girth and snowy crown ; 
I can weigh thee to an ounce, 
And thy value can pronounce ! 
To meso small to me is given 
To search the secrets of the heaven ; 
To weigh the ponderable sun, 
And track the planets as they run, 



TO ONE WHO WAS AFRAID. 



325 



And say which follows and wliich 

leads ; 

I can discover them by their deeds ! 
And shall not /, thou mountain proud, 
Scale thy small peaks above the cloud ? 
Thou wert made for me to climb 
Me the humble yet sublime ! 
I am little thou art great 
Yet what art thou, in all thy state, 
Compared with me? Thou'rt but a 

grain 

In the great ocean of my brain ! 
Look up to heaven, thou haughty hill ! 
Roll down thy torrents at thy will ; 
Loose from thy grasp the avalanche, 
And crush the forests root and branch ; 
But learn thy place in Nature's plan- 
The slave and minister of Man ! 



TO ONE WHO WAS AFRAID TO 

SPEAK HIS MIND ON A GREAT 

QUESTION. 



SHAME upon thee, craven spirit ! 

Is it manly, just, or brave, 
If a truth have shone within thee, 

To conceal the light it gave ; 
Captive of the world's opinion 

Free to speak, but yet a slave ? 

ii. 

All conviction should be valiant ; 

Tell thy truth, if truth it be ; 
Never seek to stem its current ; 

Thoughts, like rivers, find the sea ; 
It will fit the widening circle 

Of Eternal Verity. 

in. 

Speak thy thought if thou believ'st it, 
Let it jostle whom it may, 

E'en although the foolish scorn it, 
Or the obstinate gainsay : 

Every seed that grows to-morrow 
Lies beneath the clod to-day. 



IV. 



If our sires, the noble-hearted, 

Pioneers of things to come, 
Had like thee been weak and timid, 

Traitors to themselves, and dumb, 
Where would be our present knowledge ? 

Where the hoped Millennium ? 



v. 



Where would be triumphant Science, 
Searching with her fearless eyes, 

Through the infinite Creation 
For the soul that underlies 

Soul of Beauty, soul of Goodness, 
Wisdom of the earth and skies ? 



VI. 

Where would be all great inventions, 
Each from by-gone fancies born, 

Issued first in doubt and darkness, 
Launch'd 'mid apathy and scorn ? 

How could noontime ever light us, 
But for dawning of the morn ? 

VII. 

Where would be our free opinion. 

Where the right to speak at all, 
If our sires, like thee mistrustful, 

Had been deaf to duty's call, 
And conceal'd the thoughts within them, 

Lying down for fear to fall ? 

VIII. 

Though an honest thought, outspoken, 
Lead thee into chains or death 

What is Life, compared with Virtue ? 
Shalt thou not survive thy breath? 

Hark ! the future age invites thee ! 
Listen ! trembler, what it saith ! 

IX. 

It demands thy thought in justice, 
Debt, not tribute, of the free ; 

Have not ages long departed 
Groan'd, and toil d, and bled for thee 1 ? 

If the Past have lent thee wisdom, 
Pay it to Futurity. 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS, 
THE STAG HOUND 



THE lean hound lay by the castle wall, 
And took no heed of whistle or call, 
Or kind words of the seneschal 

Ever the fountains flawing. 
He left untouch'd the proffer'd bone ; 
All the day he crouch'd alone, 
Half the night he made his moan ; 
The dog had something on his mind, 
Or scented mischief on the wind < 

On the wild north wind a-bloiving. 

ir. 

The warder's child, a blue-eyed maid, 
Half sympathetic and half afraid, 
Her morning crust beside him laid 

Ever the fountains flowing. 
The lean hound look'd her in the face, 
And wagg'd his tail for heart of grace, 
But never stuVd from his resting-place; 
His heart and hunger were at strife, 
He needed little for his life 

And the wild north wind a-blowing. 

m. 

Two days thus he shunn'd his kind ; 
Three days thus he moan'dand whined ; 
Four days thus he sorrowed and pined 

Ever the fountains flo wing. 
But on the fifth day morn there pass'd 
A taint of something on the blast, 
That roused his energies at last. 
Erect he rose and prick'd his ears 
; What is it that the creature hears 

On the wild north wind abloicing ? 

IV. 

It was a traveller grisly gray, 

Who trod the snow till it rose like spray 

At the bows of a vessel under way 

Ever the fountains flowing. 
The lean hound knew him before he came, 
And started back, his eyes a-flame, 
And hair upstanding o'er all his frame ; 
His top jaw ciuiver'd and curPd with hate, 
And bared his long teeth, sharp and straight- 

And the wild north wind a-blowing. 



THE STAG HOUND. 327 

v. 

A low dull bark a deepening growl- 
And springing quick as flight of fowl, 
He seized the traveller by the jowl 

Ever the fountains flowing. 
By the jowl and by the throat ; 
In vain the traveller plunged and smolc 
To grasp the knife beneath his coat ; 
He could not loose the vengeful hound 
His blood made red the snowy ground 

And the wild north wind ivas blowing. 

VI. 

They heard his shrieks at the castle wall : 
Out there came the seneschal, 
With loud halloo and hoot and call 

Ever the fountains flowing. 
Out there came the warders twain 
With sticks and staves, and pour'd like rain 
Their blows on the creature's back and brain, 
Fast as hail, and heavy in stroke 
As woodman's hatchet on the oak 

And the wild north wind was blowing. 

VII. 

They drove the furious beast away 
They raised the traveller where he lay 
As senseless as a clod of clay 

Ever the fountains flowing; 
But only senseless and not dead, 
And bore him to the warder's bed, 
And wash'd his wounds and bound his head, 
And stripp'd him to the skin so white, 
And watch'd beside him all the night 

And the wild north wind a-blowing. 

VIII. 

In his purse they found a ring 

Fit for the finger of a king ; 

And a love-locK with a silken string 

Ever the fountains flowing. 
Golden money of mintage rare, 
A lady's portrait, heavenly fair, 
With soft blue eves and yellow hair, 
And a letter such as love might pen 
To the best and best beloved of men 

And the wild north wind was blowing. 

IX. 

The castle's Lord came forth to see 
What manner of man this man might be, 
' Jesu Maria! 1 murmurM he 



328 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



Ever the fountain flowing. 
1 The sword of God deals judgment clear 
This is the ring of my comrade dear, 
Slain by the villain who lieth here ; 
And this a letter from his wife, 
Whom he loved and cherish'd more than life ! 

And the wild north wind icas blowing. 

x. 

By God alone, the murderer thought, 
Was seen the crime his hand had wrought. 
The dog beheld though counted nought , 

Ever the fountains flowing. 
The guilty wretch confess'd the deed, 
Done in the dark for golden greed, 
And lived to dree the doom decreed. 
And hung and swung on a gibbet high, 
And fed the vultures of the sky 

In the wild north wind a-Uowing ! 



IMOGEN'S JOURNEY. 

THE MESMERIST AND THE OLAIEVOYANTE. 

How dost travel, Imogen, 
When the trance upon thee lies ? 
Lo ! I shed the influence o'er thee 
How dost travel to the skies ? 

1 On a wonder-working steed, 
Like the steed in the eastern tale ; 
I mount his back I try his speed 
I guide him over hill and dale, 
Deftly ever I hold the reins, 
And sit hi the saddle haughtily ; 
Over the mountains and over the plains, 
Over the land and over the sea.' 

Imogen, I know thou wonderest 
At thy pleasure through the air; 
Canst thou tell what thou hast witnessed, 
And thy mysteries declare ? 

1 Much I see 
Lovingly, 

I feast on the beauty of the earth, 
In its sadness, in its mirth, 
In its decay, and in its bloom, 
In its splendour, in its gloom ; 
To every clime remote or near 
I soar in my saddle and never fear. 



'Much I see 
Mournfully, 

Want, and ignorance, and strife, 
And the agonies of death and life ; 
Intemperance mowing its victims down 
In countless hosts through city and town; 
And hapless infants, newly born, 
Cast on the world to shame and scorn : 
Taught to lie, to steal, to swear, 
Nurtured in hatred and despair, 
Train'd in obedience, reckless and blind, 
To the worst passions of their kind. 

'Much I see 

Indignantly, 

The prosperous evil, the suffering good ; 

And battening, fattening, 

Fawning, lying, 

God denying, 

Pestilent ingratitude. 

Sous bringing shame to a father's cheek, 

And daughters doing their mothers 

wrong ; 

The strong man trampling on the weak, 
The weak man worshipping the strong ; 
The white man selling the black for a 

slave 

And quoting Scripture in his defence, 
And giving the money the holy knave 
In support of pulpit eloquence : 



IMOGEN'S JOURNEY. 



329 



Harsh intolerant Bigotry 

Taking the name of Charity ; 

And Vice in a masquerading dress, 

^Vhite-robed like virgin loveliness, 

Sitting in Virtue's seat, unchallenged, 

And passing herself in all men's sight, 

As a radiant creature 

In form and feature, 

A visitant of love and light ; 

Tyrants ruling, 

Wise men fooling, 

And stolid Ignorance preaching and 

schooling : 
All this I see 
Most mournfully, 
And haste to descend to the Earth 

again, 
And rest on the level ground with men. 

* But in my trance of yesterday 

I was travelling far away ; 

Far away in the air upborne, 

I, clear-seeing Imogen, 

Lost myself in the depths serene, 

Twelve hours eastward of the mom. 

The full round Earth beneath me lay 

A lar^e bright orb of silvery gray, 

The bi-centuple of the moon : 

I heard her rolling on her way, 

Her tidal oceans pealing a tune, 

Sea with sea, 

Harmoniously. 

Through the dread Infinity. 

And a living voice spake to my soul, 

As I watch'd the mighty planet roll ; 

An angel of another sphere, 

An alien and a wanderer here ; 

And spirit to spirit, mind to mind, 

I to him, and he to me, 

We spoke together bodilessly, 

On the deeds of humankind. 

' " Oh, lovely is your world," he said 
" Behold the glory round it spread, 
Behold its oceans, how they shine 
Suffused with radiancy divine : 
Its teeming continents behold 
Its mountain summits fired with gold ; 
Its gleaming poles of purest white, 
Its tropics bathed in fruitful light ; 
A lovely world, a gorgeous plan- 
How fares the Brotherhood of Man ? ;; 



' "The Brotherhood of Man ? " said I. 
Mingling a whisper and a sigh : 
"Alas, the Earth, though old in time, 
Is young in wisdom : Brotherhood ? 
There is no land in any clime 
Where even the word is understood : 
Look below at yon fair isles, 
Laving themselves in Ocean's smiles, 
They rule the Earth, yet cannot teach 
The simple truth thy words convey, 
Though ever the few dissuade, and 

preach, 
Ever the many fight and slay." 

* "Blind creatures," said the Voice to me, 
" If they know not charity 
But surely they have learn'd the truth 
That God is Love and growing wise, 
They study from their tenderest youth 
That holiest of mysteries ?" 

' " They know it not," I made reply. 
" Of all the swarms that live and die 
Upon that wide revolving ball, 
The pettiest faction of them all 
Has heard that truth: and of those 

few 

Though hundreds think, the units do, 
Aliens, foes, estranged from birth, 
Are the nations of the earth ; 
One to the east of a mountain-cope 
Hates the one to the western slope ; 
One to the left bank of a river 
Pursues with its deadly wrath for ever 
The one that prospers on the right, 
And works for ever to its despite ; 
And to the earth's extremest bound 
Brotherhood is nowhere found." 

'"But is there none," said the voice, 

" to show 
The wrong, the shame, the guilt, the 

woe, 

The fearful madness of such crime ? 
Is there none with a soul sublime 
To open their hearts that they may see 
That Love is the law of Infinity, 
The dominant chord of the mighty seven 
That form the harmonies of heaven ? " 

Many to teach, but few to hear. 
Though scant the boundaries of our 

sphere, 

Truth goes slowly over the zones, 
And stumbles over pebble-stones. 



330 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



The laziest worm that ever crept, 
Although at each remove it slept, 
Would measure the girth of the rolling 

earth 

Ten times o'er, in a tithe of the time 
It takes slow-footed Truth to climb 
The dense obstructions in its course, 
Raised by folly, fraud, or force, 
And circle it once from pole to pole : 
Never yet, thou wandering soul, 
Has one great Truth pierced through 

the crust 
Of universal human dust." 

( " It cannot be," said the Voice again : 
" Was there never born 'mong men 
Th' incarnate God ? " " Alas ! " I said, 
" Look at the Earth behold it spread 
Its countless regions to the day ; 
Behold I'll show thee in the ray, 
Every little speck of land 
Where the Truth has made a stand 
I could cover them with my hand. 

* u See yon little continent, 

And close beside it other two 

Of aspect more magnificent, 

And large dimensions, looming through 

An atmosphere of radiant blue : 

The smallest spot alone has heard 

The great and civilizing word 

That God is Love ; and even there 

Men hate each other, and declare 

Fierce war for difference of degree, 

And shadows of divergency 

On minor Doints, and dogmas dim, 

That whether we cling to or let fall 

Is of no account in the eyes of Him 

Who gave a law beyond them all. 



' " Ignorance is the lord below ; 
Hatred, Bigotry, and Scorn 
Do his bidding, and scatter woe 
On the climates of the morn : 
Do his bidding and high behest 
On the regions of the west, 
Obey his rules from north to south, 
Ancf take their orders from his mouth 

' " Farewell ! " said the Voice of the 

upper air. 

" I'll change my track, I'll go not there ; 
To other planets I will roam. 
Where Love and Knowledge find a 

home." 
" Farewell ! " said I, " thou wandering 

sprite, 

I must return to Earth ere night, 
And bear for awhile as best I can 
The cold, dull ignorance of man." ' 



Noio thou'rt waken'd, Imogen, ' 
Dost thou kiww where thou hast been ? 
1 No/ she said, and rubb'd her eyes, 
And look'd around her with surprise. 
* I have slept and I have heard 
Something nothing who can tell ? 
Waking memory knows no word, 
And has no sense of what befell. 
But when again thy fingers pour 
The influence through me, if it chance 
That I can summon up once more 
The lost ideas of my trance, 
I'll tell thee truly what I see, 
Wise or foolish, as may be.' 



MELODIES AND MYSTERIES. 

WOULDST thou know what the blithe bird pipeth, 

High in the morning air ? 
Wouldst thou know what the bright stream singeth, 

Rippling o'er pebbles bare 1 
Sorrow the mystery shall teach thee, 

And the words declare. 

Wouldst thou find in the rose's blossom 
More than thy fellows find ? 



TUE MAN IN THE DEAD SEA. 



331 



More in the fragrance of the lily 

Than odour on the wind ? 
Love Nature, and her smallest atoms 

Shall whisper to thy mind. 

Wouldst thou know what the moon discourseth 

To the docile sea ? 
Wouldst hear the echoes of the music 

Of the far infinity ? 
Sorrow shall ope the founts of knowledge, 

And heaven shall sing to thee. 

Wouldst thou see through the riddle of Being 

Further than others can ? 
SOITOW shall give thine eyes new lustre 

To simplify the plan ; 
And love of God and thy kind shall aid thee 

To end what it began. 

To Love and Sorrow all Nature speaketh ; 

If the riddle be read, 
They the best can see through darkness 

Each divergent thread- 
Of its mazy texture, and discover 

Whence the ravel spread. 

Love and Sorrow are sympathetic 

With the earth and skies ; 
Their touch from the harp of Nature bringeth 

The hidden melodies ; 
To them the eternal chords for ever 

Vibrate in harmonies. 



THE MAN IN THE DEAD SEA. 

AN APOLOGUE. 

WALKING* on the Dead Sea shore, 
Meditating evermore, 
Underneath the burning ray 
Of intolerable day, 
I beheld a fearful thing 

Bloody deed as e'er was done. 
Wrought, unblushing, unrelenting, 

In the presence of the sun. 

Fair, and young, and bright was he, 
Who that morning walk'd with me 
By the margin of the sea ; 
Calm, and eloquent, and wise, 

Radiant in immortal youth ; 
Knowledge sparkled in his eyes, 

From his forehead living truth. 



He was a youth indeed divine, 

A master and a friend of mine, 

For whose dear sake I would have given 

All on the mortal side of heaven. 

We talk'd together and paced along ; 
We did no mortal creature wrong ; 
And sometimes sitting on the sands, 

Or on the jutting rocks below, 
He look'd at me, and clasp'd my hands, 

And told me things I ought to know- 
Things of heaven and things of earth, 
Things of wisdom and of mirth ; 
The wisdom cheerful, the mirth most 

wise, 
And both brimful of mysteries. 

There came a woman by the way 

A stately woman, proud and strong ; 
Her robe of purple velvet shone, 
Like a starry night with precious stone, 



332 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



And traiFd the sands as she swept 

along. 
She wore a dagger at her side, 

Jewel-hilted, bright, and keen : 
You might have told, by her crown of 



This gorgeous woman was a queen ; 
But more by her eyes, that flash'd the 
fire 

Of one accustom'd to control ; 
1"o rule in awe, and give the law 

That binds the body and the soul. 
And, in her train, there follow'd her 

A well-arm'd troop of stalwart men, 
So bloody and bare, I do not care 

Ever to see their like again. 

My friend arose and look'd at her ; 

Calm and beautiful he stood, 
With such magnificence of eye 

As God but dves unto the good. 
She scowPd at him ; each quivering limb 

In all her body spake her wrath ; 
An'd her fearful tongue loud curses flung 

At the mild presence in her path : 
' Monster of evil ! fiend of guile ! 

What brings thee here to blast my 

sight ? 

But since thou darest, in the day, 
To meet and brave me in the way, 

We'll try thy power we'll know thy 
right.' 

* Lady/ he said, and mildly spoke, 

While heavenly beauty lit his face, 
' My God hath made me what I am, 

And given me an abiding-place ; 
And if my presence please thee not, 

The world is wide thou need'st not 

come 
To slay me in each quiet spot, 

Where I have sanctified a home. 
Thou'st taken from me wide domains, 

And follow'd me with hate and scorn ; 
Enjoy thine own let me alone 

I wait in patience for the Mom.' 

A frenzy flush'd her burning brow, 

A rage too mighty to contain ; 
Her nostrils widen'd, and seem'd to 

smoke ; 
She grasp'd her neck as she would 

choke, 
And then, like one who suffer'd pain, 



Her trembling lips she did compress ; 
Her cheeks grew cold and colourless. 
But soon the madness of her blood 
BoU'd in her bosom where she stood ; 
Her eyes seem'd coals of living flame, 
And incoherent curses came, 
Gasping and gurgling, from hei 

mouth ; 

Never tornado of the south 
Made half the wreck as, in that hour, 
She would have made, had she the 

power. 

My friend stood by, with folded arms, 

Serene, and innocent, and pure ; 
And when she saw that he but smiled 

At all her hate, she could endure 
No longer on his face to look, 

But smote it with her jewell'd hand : 
' Insensate wretch ! ' she fiercely said, 

4 Let me not slay thee where I stand ; 
I will not stab thee to the heart, 

Lest, in my haste. I mar delight, 
And thou shouldst die and end thy pain 

Too suddenly before my sight. 
Not yet thy venomous blood shall flow, 
But I will slay thee ere I go ! ' 

Her body-guards, so fierce and grim, 
Seized his arms and pinion' d him ; 
And every one, with nis gauntlet on, 

An iron gauntlet, heavy to bear, 
Smote him on his cheeks and eyes, 

And bruised his lips, so ruddy fair, 
Till the blood startea, and over-dyed 

The bloom of his face with gory red ; 
And then they spat on him in spite, 

And heap'd foul curses on his head. 
And he what could he do but pray, 

And let them work their cruel will? 
Tum'd his looks to the judging sky, 

Appealing, though forgiving still. 

Then from his lily skin they tore 
Every vestment that he bore; 
Smote him, threw him on the ground, 
And his limbs with fetters bound ; 
Naked, helpless, and forlorn, 
Mark for all their wrath and scorn ; 
And with lying words, accused 

Of every shame, deceit, and crime ; 
And, when once he strove to speak, 

Fill'd his mouth with sand and slime ; 
Stamping on him as he lay 
Bound and bleeding on the way ; 



THE MAN AY THE DEAD SEA. 



333 



And I, alas ! alone, alone ! 
Could but curse them and bemoan 
That I could not, as I trod, 
Grasp th' avenging bolts of God. 

And as he lay upon the beach, 
Deprived of motion and of speech, 
The queen, that woman so proud and 

fierce, 

Look'd upon him with feverish joy ; 
Her fiery glances seem'd to pierce 
Through and through the bleeding 

boy; 

She put her hand on his naked breast. 
And felt his heart: 'Ah! well,' said 

she, 
' It beats and beats, but shall not beat 

To vex me thus incessantly.' 
And she drew the poniard from her side, 

Slowly, calmly, sheath and all ; 
Unsheath'd it, felt if its edge were 

sharp, 
And dipp'd its point in poisonous 

gall; 

And, kneeling down, with flashing face 
Gazed upon him hi that place. 

She did tiot stab him : she grasp'd his 
flesh 

As if she'd tear it from his bones ; 
Then took the slime from his bleeding 
mouth, 

That she might hear his piteous 

groans. 

He f aintly said, ' Thou canst not kill ; 
My charmed life defies thy will.' 
'I can,' she answered, whispering low; 
'This is the death that thou shalt know. 
Thy days are numbered thy race is run; 
Thou art an insult to the sun.' 
And in his breast, up to the hilt, 

She plunged the dagger, and wrench'd 

it round, 
Then drew it out with a joyous cry, 

And pointed to the ghastly wound ; 
Then drove it in again again, 

With force redoubled every time ; * 
And left it sticking in his heart 

For very luxury of crime. 

Sense and motion left his frame, 

From his lips no breathing came : 

' He's dead,' quoth she ; * he's dead at 

last, 
And all my agony is past. 



Take him up ! let the Dead Sea wave 
Float him about without a grave ! 
Take him up and throw him in ! 

In these waters none can sink ; 
'Mid the foul naphtha let him swim, 
To gorge the vultures, limb by limb, 

When they come to the water's brink! 
And if they come not, let him lie, 
Rotting betwixt the wave and sky ! 
Take him by the heels and chin ; 
And spit on him, and cast him in ! ' 

They twined their coarse hands in his 

hair ; 

They took his body, so white and fair ; 
They spat upon his patient face, 
Pale, but fill'd with heavenly grace ; 
They took him up, and in the sea, 
They cast him ignominiously. 
And the fearful woman, proud and 

strong, 

The fiendish woman who did the wrong, 
Bade clarion sound, and trumpet play, 
And went exulting on her way. 

A sudden wind a treacherous wind- 
Arose upon that Dead Sea shore ; 

The heavy waves began to swell, 
To chafe, and foam, and lash, and 
roar ; 

A gloom o'erspread the clear blue sky: 

Once alone I could descry 

His fair white limbs go floating by 
On the crest of a distant wave ; 

And I sat me down upon the sand, 

Wailing that I, with strong right hand, 
Had not snatch'd him from tne grave, 

And smitten the murd'ress to the dust 

Ere she sacrificed the just. 

All that day the storm blew high, 
And all that day I linger d there ; 

There was no living thing but I 

On the shore of that sad sea, , 

And I was moaning piteously. 
Towards the night the wind blew fair, 

And the silver rim of the bright new 

moon 
Shone in a deep cerulean air, 

And look'd at itself in the salt lagoon. 

And there was silence, cold as death ; 

Not a motion but my breath! 

Long I sat upon the shore, 
Brooding on that cruel wrong, 



334 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



Wondering if for evermore 

The evil thing should be the strong : 
When I heard a sudden sound, 
And saw a phosphorescent track 
On the breast of the waves so dull and 

black. 

I listen'd I could plainly hear 
The measured stroke, precise and clear, 
Of a swimmer swimming near : 
I look'd I saw the floating locks, 

The face upturn'd, the bosom brave, 
The calm full eyes, that look'd on me 
Through the darkness of the sea ; 

The strong limbs, battling with the 

wave : 

I saw the motion* I heard the breath, 
I knew his victory over death. 

It was my friend, my living friend ; 

I clasp y d him, clad him, wept for joy. 
* They may think/ he said, * to strike me 
dead, 

They can but wound me not destroy. 
The strongest bands, the fastest chain, 
On my free limbs will not remain ; 
For the deepest wounds that hate can 
strike, 

I find a healing in the air ; 
Ev*n poison'd weapons cannot kill ; 

TheVre powerless on the life I bear. 
And she, whose hate pursues me still, 

A queen superb, of lofty line, 
Shall have her day, then fade away, 

And all her empire shall be mine/ 



THE FOLLOWER 

i. 

' WHY dost thou look so sad and wan ? 
And why art thou so woe-begone ? 
Why dost thou mutter words of fear ? 
Do I not love thee, father dear ? 
Is not earth a place of joy ? 
Tell me, father, tell thy boy/ 

ii. 

' There is a fiend doth follow me ; 
A fearful fiend thou canst not see, 
But I behold him. Bay or night 
He is not absent from my sight : 
I know thou lovest me, my child, 
But this demon drives me wild. 



in. 



' The world was once both good and fair, 

There was a glory in the air, 

When my heart was pure and young, 

By guilt and misery unwrung ; 

But a demon such as this, 

Makes an agony of bliss. 



IV. 



* He besets my daily path, 
I am the victim of his wrath ; 
He smears his fingers o'er my meat, 
And poisons everything I eat ; 
Puts fatal acid in mv drink 
Oh, it is misery to think ! 



v. 



1 He lies beside me in my bed ; 
He places thorns beneath my head ; 
He sits upon my suffering breast, 
And sends the dreams that mar my rest; 
He tracks my steps where'er I stray. 
And gibes and mocks me night and day. 



VL 

' When sympathetic friends condole, 
And whisper comfort to my soul, 
The spiteful devil comes to and fro, 
And turns each friend into a foe ; 
Perverts my comfort into pain, 
Maddening my heart and Drain. 

vn. 

'When I tliink I'm all alone, 
I start to hear his mocking groan ; 
I see his fearful face and eyes, 
That hellish face which multiplies, 
And fills the room from roof to floor 
V ith scowling demons evermore. 

VIII. 

' Cruel Is he ; his power is great ; 
He pursues me ; he is fate. 
If I look to heaven, and pray, 
I see his dreadful shape mid- way ; 
And ev'n the placid stars assume 
His sneering likeness in the gloom. 

IX. 

1 He leads my steps to dark, deep p ols, 
And says, "None live but wret-lei 

fools." 

He puts sharp weapons in my sight, 
And shows me poison, ruby bright, 



WE ARE WISER THAN WE KNOW. 



335 



And whispers, if I like him not, 
How soon my freedom may be got. 



x. 



1 At times I think my heart will break ; 
But I resist him for thy sake : 
His power departs when thou art near 
Of thy sweet face he stands in fear ; 
And if thou'lt love me, my boy, 
I'll grapple with him, and destroy.' 



XI. 



' Father, I love thee : I will pray 
For strength to drive this fiend away. 
And if thbu wilt be bold of heart, 
I know the demon will depart ; 
And I will walk with thee abroad*, 
And scare him with the name of God. 



XII. 

' I'll lie beside thee hi the night, 
He shall not come to plague thy sight. 
Why should his face fill up the skies 
With hideousness and mockeries 1 
There are fair faces up in heaven, 
That always smile on the forgiven. 

XIII. 

' They beam upon us : they are strong : 
This fiend shall not resist them long. 
We'll see them in the stars and moon, 
We'll see them in the sun at noon ; 
We'll see them in the leaves and flowers, 
And hear them singing 'mid the bowers. 

XIV. 

* He is but one : why should we fear, 
When smiling angels fill the sphere ? 
And one among them known to thee 
Chief angel of my memory 

My mother, dead, and gone before ! '- 

* Talk thus, my child, I'll fear no more. 

xv. 

' Thy heart is pure, thy speech is mild, 
1 gain instruction from a child: 
The fiend that haunts me must depart, 
He cannot vex me where thou art- 
Thy mother's memory ! God ! and thee! 
The fiend has fled my soul is free !' 



WE ARE WISER THAN WE 
KNOW. 



THOU, who in the midnight silence 

Lookest to the orbs on high, 

Feeling humbled, yet elated, 

In the presence of the sky ; 

Thou, who minglest with thy sadness 

Pride ecstatic, awe divine, 

That ev'n thou canst trace their progress 

And the law by which they shine, 

Intuition shall uphold thee, 

EVn though Reason drag thee low ; 

Lean on faith, look up rejoicing 

We are wiser than we know. 

ii. 

Thou, who nearest plaintive music, 
Or sweet songs of other days ; 
Heaven-revealing organs pealing, 
Or clear voices hymning praise, 
And wouldst weep, thou know'st not 

wherefore, 

Though thy soul is steep'd in joy, 
And the world looks kindly on thee, 
And thy bliss hath no alloy, 
Weep, nor seek for consolation, 
Let the heaven-sent droplets flow, 
They are hints of mighty secrets 
We are wiser than we know ! 

in. 

Thou, who in the noon-time brightness 
Seest a shadow undefined ; 
Hear'st a voice that indistinctly 
Whispers caution to thy mind : 
Thou, who hast a vague foreboding 
That a peril may be near, 
Ev'n when Nature smiles around thee, 
And thy Conscience holds thee clear, 
Trust the warning look before thee 
Angels may the mirror show, 
Dimly still ; but sent to guide thee 
We are wiser than we know. 

IV. 

Countless chords of heavenly music, 
Struck ere earthly time began, 
Vibrate in immortal concord 
Through the answering soul of man ; 



336 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



Countless rays of heavenly glory 
Shine through spirit pent in clay, 
On the wise men at their labours, 
On the children at their play. 
Man has gazed on heavenly secrets, 
Sunn'd himself in heavenly glow, 
Seen the glory ; heard the music ; 
We are wiser than we krww. 



THE CHILD AND THE 
MOURNERS. 



A LITTLE child, beneath a tree, 

Sat and chanted cheerily 

A little song, a pleasant song, 

Which was she sang it all day long 

' When the wind blows, the blossoms fall, 

But a good God reigns over all ! ' 

ii. 

There pass'd a lady by the way, 
Moaning in the face of clay : 
There were tears upon her cheek, 
Grief in her heart too great to speak ; 
Her husband died but yester-morn, 
And left her in the world forlorn. 

HI. 

She stopp'd and listen'd to the child, 
That look'd to Heaven, and, singing, 

smiled ; 

And saw not, for her own despair, 
Another lady, young and fair, 
Who, also passing, stopp'd to hear 
The infant s anthem ringing clear. 

IV. 

For she, but few sad days before, 
Had lost the little babe she bore ; 
And grief was heavy at her soul, 
As that sweet memory o'er her stole, 
And show'd how bright had been the 

Past, 
The Present drear and overcast. 



And as they stood beneath the tree, 
Listening, soothed, and placidly, 
A youth came by, whose sunken eyes 
Spake of a load of miseries ; 
And he, arrested like the twain, 
Stopp'd to listen to the strain. 



VI. 



Death had bow'd the youthful head 
Of his bride beloved, his bride unwed : 
Her marriage robes were fitted on. 
Her fair young face with blushes shone, 
When the destroyer smote her low, 
And left the lover to his woe. 



VII. 



And these three listen'd to the song, 
Silver-toned, and sweet, and strong, 
Which that child, the live-long day, 
Chanted to itself in play : 
' When the wind blows, the blossoms fall, 
But a good God reigns over all.' 



VIII. 



The widow's lips impulsive moved ; 
The mother's grief, though unreproved, 
Soften'd, as her trembling tongue 
Repeated what the infant sung ; 
And the sad lover, with a start, 
Conn'd it over to his heart. 



IX. 

And though the child if child it were, 
And not a seraph, sitting there 
Was seen no more, the sorrowing three 
Went on their way resignedly, 
The song still ringing in their ears 
Was it music of the spheres ? 

x. 

Who shall tell ? They did not know. 
But in the midst of deepest woe 
The strain recurred when sorrow grew, 
To warn them, and console them too : 
* When the wind blows, the blossoms fall, 
But a good God reigns over all.' 



THE WATER TARANTELLA. 



337 



THE WATER TARANTELLA. 

' The condition of those who were afflicted with Tarantism was in many cases united with 
so great a sensibility to music, that at the very first tone of their favourite melodies they 
sprang up shouting for joy, and danced on without intermission, until they sank on the 
ground exhausted, and almost lifeless. Some loved to hear the sound of water, and delighted 
in hearing of gushing springs, and rushing cascades and streams.' Hecker's Epidemics of the 
Middle Ages, The Dancing Mania. 

THE wind blows low on the fields and hedges, 

There is a murmur amid the sedges, 

A low sweet sound where the water gushes 

Forth from the grass amid the rushes j 

It is a streamlet small and young, 

It loves to dally the mosses among, 

It trickles slowly, 

It whispers lowly, 

On its breast the thistle drops its down, 

The water-lily 

So white and stilly 

Sleeps in its lap till its leaves grow brown. 

Dance, poor Eveleen, dance and dream! 
Soft is the music, and fresh the stream/ 

We will follow thee where it flows 
It leaves the sedges dank behind, 
And on its fringe a willow shows 
Its silvery leaflets to the wind ; 
And a brook comes down from far away, 
And babbles into it all the day ; 
And both together creep through meads 
Where the shy plover hides and feeds, 
And then away through fields of corn, 
Or stretch of meadows newly shorn : 
Noiselessly they flow and clear 
By open wold and covered brake ; 
But if you listen, you may hear 
The steady music which they make. 

Dance, poor Eveleen, dance, we follow I 
O'er field, and copse, and wild-wood hollow 

And now the stream begins to run 
Over the pebbles in its bed, 
To rumple its breast and glance in the sun, 
And curl to the light breeze overhead. 
No longer loitering, lingering, calm, 
It hurries away o'er the chafing shingle, 
Humming a song, singing a psalm, 
Through the orchard, doAvn the dingle. 
Pools like mirrors adorn its breast, 
And there the trout and the minnow rest ; 
The ringdove sings in her nest alone 
The tender song that love has taught her ; 
And the redbreast sits on the boulder-stone, 
Washing his plumes in the wimpling water. 
22 



338 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

Brisker now let the music sound; 
Dance, Eveleen, dance, we follow thee ever, 
And tread the ground with a quick rebound, 
Away, away with the rolling river ! 

Fed by its tributary rills 

From distant valleys with circling hills, 

And travelling seaward, merrily brawling, 

Wild, impassion'd, rapid, and strong, 

With voice of power to the green woods calling, 

The impetuous river clashes along, 

And is sweeping, leaping, through the meadows 

Almost as fast as the driving shadows 

Of clouds that fly before the wind, 

Down to the chasmy precipices, 

There to burst in foaming fall : 

It bursts, it thunders, it roars, it hisses, 

An iris is its coronal ; 

And the pendulous trees above it shiver, 

Bathed by the rain of that rampant river. 

So dance, fair Eveleen, faster, faster; 
Unloose thy zone, thy locks untwine; 
Thy bosom, no more like tJie alabaster, 
Is flush? d, and heated, and red like -wine; 
Thy pulse is beating, thy blood is heating, 
Thy lips are open, thine eyeballs shine. 

And now the river spends its wrath, 
The music sinks, the winds blow low ; 
Its bosom broad is a nation's path 
Smooth and pleasant is its flow. 
A boat shoots by with its rowers trim, 
A ferryman plies his lazy oar ; 
And miles adown, hi the distance dim, 
There stands a city on the shore. 

By corn-fields yellow, by meadows green, 
And stately gardens, we advance / 
Still we follow thee, Eveleen 
Gentle, gentler, be thy dance! 

Behold, upon a grassy lawn, 

Sloped smoothly downwards to the brink, 

With large soft eves, a dapple fawn 

Stoops to the lucid wave to drink ; 

And, lo ! an avenue of oak, 

Whose wrinkled stems, of giant girth, 

Have stood unarin'd the winter's stroke 

For thrice a century, firm in earth, 

Their boughs o'ertopp'd by the turrets hoary 

Of a mansion old anc * 



They pass, all pass, 

As in magic glass, 

And still we trace the placid stream 

Castle and tower, 



THE EARTH AND THE STARS. 339 

And park and bower ; 

Dance, poor Eveleen, dance and dream! 

A hundred ships are in the river, 

Their tall masts point to a clear blue sky, 

Their sails are furl'd, their pennants curl'd, 

To the sweet west wind that wantons by ; 

And every flag, ernblazou'd fair, 

Flaps at its will on the sunny air. 

There is a peal of Sabbath bells, 

Over the river's breast it swells ; 

The tall proud steeples look calmly down 

On the quiet houses of the town ; 

'Tis a day of love, of rest, of peace 

Eveleen, the song must cease. 

Gently, Eveleen, gently rest! 

Softly on thy pillow sleep ! 

The jit is o'er, thy Jieamng breast 

Will calm itself in slumber deep; 

Thou'st danced, poor maid, the Tarantelle, . 

Thou'st danced it long and danced it well; 

Thou'st trod the maze, and traced the shore; 

Thou shalt be heal' d for evermore/ 



THE EARTH AND THE STARS. 

SAID the Earth to the Stars' Oh my sisters, 
Fellow-travellers through this dread immensity, 
Send a voice to my spirit and declare, 
If, serenely as ye smile on me, and fair, 

Ye are dwellings for all miseries, like me ? 

* Oh tell me if in you, my glorious sisters. 
Rules a tyrant like the one enthroned liere ? 
If Death has ever entered in your climes, 
And Suffering, and Calamity, and Crimes 

Ever rob you of the children that you rear ] 

' Oh cell me if in you, my myriad sisters, 
The weak are ever trampled by the strong ? 
If Malice, and Intolerance, and Hate, 
And Warfare, and Ambition to be great. 

Ever cause the Right to suffer from the Wrong ? 

' Oh tell me, silent sisters, are ye happy 1 
Are the multitudes that live beneatn your skies, 
Full of knowledge, unaccursed by such a ban 
As man has ever issued against man ? 

Are they happy, are they loving, are they wise ? ; 

Said the Stars to the Earth' Oh mournful sister, 
Rolling calmly through the calm infinity, 
We have roll'd for countless ages on our track, 
Ever onward pressing onward never back ;- 

There is progress both for us and for thee ! 



340 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



1 Thou wilt make, oh thou foolish little sister, 
The full cycle of thy glory in thy time ; 
We are rolling on in ours for evermore ; 
Look not backward see Eternity before, 

And free thyself of Sorrow and of Crime. 

* God, who made thee, never meant thee, mournful sister, 
To be fill'd with sin and grief eternally ; 

And the children that are born upon thy breast 
Shall, in fulness of their destiny, oe blest : 

There is Progress for the Stars and for Thee/ 



THE YOUNG EARTH. 

' The earth gives signs of age, disease, and fickleness. It yields its increase grudgingly, 
and demands an exorbitant fee beforehand, in toil and sweat from the husbandman. It has 
ill turns or paroxysms, when it rouses the ocean into a tempest, and makes sport of navies, 
strewing the shore with the wrecks and carcases of men. It rocks a continent or sinks an 
island ; slinking massive cities into countless fragments, and burying its wretched inhabit- 
ants in indiscriminate ruin ; anon it writhes and groans in mortal agony, and finds relief 
only by disgorging its fiery bowels, burying cities and villages in bunting graves. THB 
EARTH is OLD AND KEKBLK, and must needs groan on until it renews its prime." Miter let 
and LiabilUiei of the present Life. 

OLD Earth ? YOUNG EARTH ! though 
myriad years, 

Since Time's mimeval morn, 
She may have bloom'd amid the spheres 

Before a man was born ! 



Still young ; though race succeeding race 

Have trod her oreast sublime, 
And flourish' d in their pride of place 

Their full allotted time, 
Then pass'd away, like daily things, 

Nor left a trace behind 
To tell how many thousand Springs 

They lived before mankind. 

We. who for threescore years and ten 
Toil deathwards from our birth, 

Deem sixty centuries of men 
A ripe old age for Earth. 

But all our deeds, though back we look 
With yearning keen and fond, 

Fill but a page : the Mighty Book 
Lies infinite beyond. 

She is not old, or waxing cold, 

But vigorous as of yore, 
When 'mid her kindred globes she rolTd, 

Exulting evermore. 

Six thousand years of human strife 

Are little in the sum ; 
A morning added to her life, 

And noonday yet to come. 



Six thousand years! what have they 
brought, 

0, poor ephemeral man { 
Go, reckon centuries by thought, 

Thou'lt find them but a span ! 

Go reckon time by progress made, 

And lo ! what ages pass, 
Swift as the transitory shade 

Of clouds upon the grass ! 

Six thousand years ! and what are they? 

A cycle scarce begun ; 
The fragment of a grander day 

Unmeasured by the sun ; 

Too short to purify the sight 

Of souls in Error blind ; 
Too short to show the healing light 

Of Love to all mankind. 

For lo ! the lesson has been read 
In every clime and tongue ; 

The Sea has breathed it from her bed, 
And Earth and Air have sung ; 

The Sun lias beam'd it from above 

To all his worlds around ; 
The stars have preach'd that God is 
,, Love : 
But answer never found. 

The generations cold and dark 
Have lived and pass'd away, 




Nadnet*. 



P. 341 



THE GOLDEN MADNESS. 



341 



And never caught the faintest spark 
Of Love's eternal ray. 

The myriads, seeking to create 

An idol to adore, 
Have made their God a God of Hate, 

And worshipp'd him with gore. 

And living multitudes have heard 
That Love is Nature's plan, 

Yet shut their souls against the Word 
That teaches love to man. 

But there is progress in the spheres, 
The glorious Earth is young ; 

The seed has lain six thousand years, 
The tender shoots have sprung. 

She is not old but young and fair ; 

And marching to her prime, 
Her teeming bosom yet shall bear 

The harvests of her time. 

And generations thought-endued 

Each wiser than the last, 
Shall crowd in one short year the good 

Of centuries of the past ; 



Shall, living, aid by loving deeds 
The truths for which we pine, 

And, dying, sow the fruitful seeds 
Of impulse more divine. 

The struggle, long and sorely fought, 

Embitter'd as it spread, 
For simplest rights free hand, free 
thought, 

And sustenance of bread : 

The struggle of the righteous weak 
Against the unrighteous strong ; 

Of Justice firm, though mild and meek, 
Against oppressive Wrong 

Draws in, and must be ended yet ; 

It ripens to its hour : 
The mighty combatants have met ; 

And Truth has challenged Power ! 

Young Earth ! her sad six thousand 
years, 

Now passing swift away, 
Are but her infancy of tears 

The dawn before the day ! 



THE GOLDEN MADNESS; AN APOLOGUE. 
1846-1876. 

BY the road-side there sat an aged man, 
Who all day long, from dawn into the night, 
Counted with weary fingers heaps of stones. 
His red eyes dropped with rheum, his yellow hands 
Trembled with palsy, his pale sunken cheeks 
Were mark'd with deep and venerable seams, 
His flat bald brow was ever bent to earth, 
His few gray hairs waved to the passing winds, 
His straggling teeth, blacken'd and carious, 
Rattled and tumbled from his bloodless gums ; 
I spake him kindly, saying, ' Why this toil 
At task like this, cracking thy rotten bones, 
To gain nor health, nor recompense, nor thanks V 

He made no answer, but went counting on, 
Mumbling and muttering slowly to himself, 
Chinking the stones with melancholy sound, 
Piece after piece ; looking nor right nor left, 
Nor upwards, but aye down upon the heap. 

I ask'd again, What is it that thou dost, 
Wasting the remnant of thy days in toil, 



342 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



Without fruition to thyself or kind, 

As earnestly as if these stones were gold, 

And all thine own to spend and to enjoy V 

He look'd upon me with a vacant eye, 
And stopp'd not in his task. * Gold ! didst thou say ? 
They are gold precious, ready-coin'd and pure, 
And all mine own to spend and to enjoy, 
When I have counted them. So, get tnee gone, 
Thou art a borrower or perchance a thief ! ' 
And aye he chink'd the flints and chips of slate, 
One after one, muttering their numbers o'er, 
At every hundred stopping for a while 
To rub his withered palms, and eye the heap 
With idiot happiness, ere ne resumed. 

There came a stranger by the way. I ask'd 
If he knew aught of this forlorn old man 1 
1 Right well/ he said ; * the creature is insane, 
And hath been ever since he had a beard. 
He first went mad for greediness of gold.' 

4 Know you his story ? ' * Perfectly,' said he. 
* Look how he counts his miserable flints 
And bits of slate. Twelve mortal hours each day 
He sits at work, summer and winter both ; 
J Mid storm or sunshine, heat or nipping frost, 
He counts and counts ; and since his limbs were young, 
Till now that he is crook'd and stiffen'd old, 
He hath not miss'd a day. The silly wretch 
Believes each stone a lump of shining gold, 
And that he made a bargain with the Fiend, 
That if he'd count one thousand million coins 
Of minted gold, audibly, one by one, 
The gold should be his own the very hour 
When he had told the thousand millionth piece ; 
Provided always, as sucli bargains go, 
The Fiend should have his soul in recompense. 

4 UnskilPd in figures, but brimful of greed, 
He chuckled at his bargain, and began ; 
And for a year reckon'd with hopeful heart. 
At last a glimpse of light broke on his sense, 
And show'd the fool tliat millions quickly said 
Were not so quickly counted as he thought. 
But still he plies his melancholy task, 
Dreaming of boundless wealth and curbless power, 
And slavish worship from liis fellow-men. 

' If he could reckon fifty thousand stones 
Daily, and miss no day in all the year, 
'Twould take him fi ve-and-fifty years of life 
To reach the awful millions he desires. 
He has been fifty of these years or more 



NOW. 



343 



Feeding his coward soul with this conceit. 
Exposed to every blast, starved, wretched, old, 
Toothless, and clothed with rags and squalidness, 
He eyes his fancied treasure with delight, 
And thinks to cheat the devil at the last. 

* Look at his drivelling lips, his bloodshot eyes, 
His trembling hands, Ms loose and yellow skin, 
His flimsy rottenness, and own with me 
That this man's madness, though a piteous thing, 
Deserves no pity, for the avarice 
So mean and filtny that was cause of it.' 

***** 

I gazed once more upon Ms wrinkled face, 
Vacant with idiotcy, and went my way 
Fill'd with disgust and sorrow, for I deem'd 
That his great lunacy was but a type 
Of many a smaller madness as abject. 
That daily takes possession of men's hearts 
And blinds them to the uses of then* life. 

Poor fool ! he gathers stones they gather gold, 
With toil and moil, thick sweat and grovelling thought. 
He has his flints, and they acquire their coin. 
And who's the wiser 1 Neither he nor they. 



NOW. 



THE venerable Past is past ; 

'Tis dark, and shines not in the ray : 
7 Twas good, no doubt 'tis gone at 

last- 
There dawns another day. 
Why should we sit where ivies creep, 
And shroud ourselves hi charnels deep ; 
Or the world's Yesterdays deplore, 
; Mid crumbling rums, mossy hoar ? 
Why should we see with dead men's 

eyes, 

Looking at Was from morn to night, 
When the beauteous Now, the divine 

To Be, 
Woo with their charms our living 

sight ? 

Why should we hear but echoes dull, 
When the world of sound, so beautiful, 

Will give us music of our own ? 
Why in the darkness will we grope, 
When the sun, in heaven's resplendent 

cope, 
Shines as bright as ever it shone ? 



Abraham saw no brighter stars 
Than those which burn for thee and 

me. 
When Homer heard the lark's sweet song, 

Or night-bird's lovelier melody, 
They were such sounds as Shakspeare 

heard, 

Or Chaucer, when he bless'd the bird ; 
Such lovely sounds as we can hear ; ; 
Great Plato saw the vernal year 
Send forth its tender flowers and shoots, 
And luscious autumn pour its fruits ; 
And we can see the lines blow, 
The corn-fields wave, the rivers flow : 
For us all bounties of the earth. 
For us its wisdom, love, and mirth, 
If we daily walk in the sight of God, 
And prize the gifts He has bestowM. 

We will not dwell amid the graves, 
Nor in dim twilights sit alone, 

To gaze at moulder'd architraves, 
Or plinths and columns overthrown ; 



344 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



We will not only see the light 
Through painted windows, cobwebb'd 
o'er, 

Nor know the beauty of the night, 
Save by the moonbeam on the floor : 

But in the presence of the sun, 
Or moon, or stars, our hearts shall 



glow; 
ll look 



We'll look at nature face to face, 
And we shall LOVE because we KNOW. 

The present needs us. Every age 
Bequeaths the next, for heritage, 
No lazy luxury or delight, 
But strenuous labour for the right ; ; 
For Now, the child and sire of Time, 

Demands the deeds of earnest men, 
To make it better than the Past, 

And stretch the circle of its ken. 



Now is a fact that men deplore, 
Though it might bless them evermore, 
Would they but fashion it aright : 
'Tis ever new, 'tis ever bright. 

Time nor Eternity hath seen 
A repetition of delight 

In all its phases : ne'er hath been 
For men or angels that which is ; 

And that which is, hath ceased to be 
Ere we have breathed it, and its place 

Is lost in the Eternity. 
But Now is ever good and fair, 
Of the Infinitude the heir. 
And we of it. So let us live, 
That from the Past we may receive 
Light for the Now ; from Now a joy 
That Fate nor Time shall e'er destroy. 



THE VISION OF MOCKERY.-1846 and 1876. 

ALL happy things are earnest. Once I roam'd 
In England, or in Dream-land, through the streets 
Of a huge, buzzing, dense metropolis. 
Slowly, in teeming thoroughfares, I walk'd, 
One of the people, hearing with their ears, 
Beholding with their eyes, and in their thought 
Divining, till my soul was fill'd with grief 
At all that I beheld, and felt, and knew. 

It was a gibing, laughing, sneering crowd, 
Devoid of truth, faith, love, and earnestness, 
Except a horrid earnestness for gain ; 
Fierce love of lucre, which if one had not, 
He was despised and trodden down of men : 
Which if one had, he was adored of all, 
Placed on a pinnacle to be admired, 
Flatter'd, and fill'd with other rich men's gifts 
His overflowing fulness made more full, 
His vulgarness thought choice gentility, 
His vices virtues, and his prejudice 
Wisdom innate, his coarse words oracles, 
And he a chief and model of manldni 

But for all else than wealth these swarming crowds 
Had slight regard ; and when their daily toil 
In search of it was done, and time hung loose, 
They gathered in their clubs and theatres, 
In market-place, or corner of the streets, 
And mock'd and gibed and held the best buffoon 



THE VISION OF MOCKERY. 345 

The wisest man, so he but made them laudi. 
Nothing was holy to these wretched crowds, 
But all tilings food for jest and ribald wit, 
Caricature, lampoon, and mockery. 

I said to one, ' Is this the end of life ? 
Is there no reverence for God or man ? ' 
He turn'd and look'd, and, with a well-bred stare, 
Eyed me askance : * What would you have 1 ' quoth he ; 
4 We keep our reverence for sabbath-days, 
And look demure the seventh part of our time ; 
If for six days we toil, six nights we laugh, 
And who shall blame us ? What new bore art thou, 
From hyperborean lands, that canst tliink 
Laughter a crime ? ' ' Nay/ I replied, ' not so ; 
Laughter is virtuous, if there be a cause : 
But mockery ! ' Thereat he smiled again, 
Arching his eyebrows, that his eyes, full-stretch'd, 
Might take tne measure of my littleness, 
And disappear'd amid the gathering throng. 

I spake no more, but wander'd wearily on, 
Until I reach'd a wide and crowded mart, 
Where one, a mild and venerable man, 
Address'd the multitude with slow, clear voice. 
Few gave him audience, but he heeded not, 
And spoke his thought, unmindful of the jeers 
Of would-be wits and shallow mountebanks, 
Scoffers and punsters, and obese dull clowns. 



your 

Lo ! ye have souls immortal and sublime, 
To be made infinite in love and light, 
And heavenly knowledge, if ye will but ope 
The inner fountains and the 'inner eyes, 
And see the deep and full significance, 
The worth and wherefore of the life of man. 

* Is it not sad, myriad, myriad souls, 
Infinite and immortal as ye are, 
That ye will make your own infinity 
A retrogression ? Immortality, 
Change of vile vesture for a viler still 1 
That ye will circle with the feculent clay 
Your life-light heavenly clear, until it b'urn 
No fairer, to the outward world, than foul, 
Thick exhalations of a stagnant fen ? 
Is it not sad, that germs which should expand 
Even here, to trees of bole magnificent, 
Should rot and perish in unsavoury mire ; 



346 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

Or, ere they rot, be eaten up by swine, 

Swine of ill passion, selfishness, and lust ? 

Is it not sad a thing for bitter tears 

Unless for hope, and efforts made more strong 

By seeming hopelessness that men should live 

And never know the meaning of their life ? 

That they should die, and never know that Death 

Is change, not ceasing ? and that life and death 

Are ebb and flow of an eternal tide, 

In which the ripple may become a wave, 

The wave a sea, the sea a universe ? 

' Alas ! poor crowds, self-quench'd, self-sacrifice J, 
Why will ye crawl, when ye might walk erect ? 
Why will ye grovel, when ye might aspire ? 
Why will ye don foul rags, when ye might wear 
Anerelic vestments ? Why co-herd with beasts, 
And graze in fields, or wallow in the mire, 
When ye might feed on manna dropp'd from heaven ? ' 

Thereat a listener in the crowd exclaim'd 
One with a portly paunch, and large round face, 
And little twinkling eyes, You waste your words : ] 
Why do you preach to us of things like these, 
Things transcendental and absurdly wise ? 
The earth is man's ; man is the earth's. Forget 
These idle dreams, and eat, and drink, and laugh, 
And speculate, and hoard a heap of gold ; 
And so be one of us, that as you live. 
You may enjoy ; and when you die, oie well, 
Leaving nlmnp money-bags to bless your sons.' 
And all tne people laugh'd, and cried. * Hear ! hear ! ' 
With loud applause, and shouts vociferous. 
But still the orator undaunted stood, 
Though laughter sputter'd round Mm ; and vain scoffs, 
Like muddv showerlets, fell on every side ; 
And more he would have said, but that a cry 
Of one in haste, and in great stress of speech, 
Made interruption : 

'Lo! the children die ! 
The little children, and you heed them not ! 
The children die : they perish, body and soul, 
In pestilent lanes, and rotting alleys vile ; 
Thousands on thousands, more than eyes can count. 
God's sun shines on them, but they never heard 
His name who made it : the fair world they tread 
Is foul to them, that never saw the fields, 
The green trees, the ereat mountains, the bright streams, 
Or knew that God, who fashion'd all things, loves 
All he has made, and children most of all, 
The purest from his hand. Why should they die ? 
For life in ignorance is very death. 



THE VISION- OF MOCKERY. 347 

Some of them toil, and waste their tender limbs 

In mills, or mines, from morn till past the night : 

Machines of flesh, too sorely overwrought 

To reach maturity ere they grow old. 

Some of them toil not, but by night and day 

Prowl in the fetid ways, and lie, and steal, 

And curse, and never know that words can bless, 

Or that such thing as blessing in this world 

Was ever heard of : Save, oh ! save them all ! 

If not for their sakes, for our own ! Not one 

Of all these myriads, were we truly wise, 

Should perish thus. For, though they live hi shame, 

And fill the world with crimes and miseries, 

Great is their sorrow, but the guilt is ours.' 

He ceased, and through the crowd a murmur ran, 
As though his \vords had moved them to remorse, 
Or pity, but it died away ; and one 
Speaking for many, as if lie alone 
Were mouth-piece and interpreter of men, 
Exclaim'd in pompous wise, ' Why should we heed ? 
Why interfere 1 It is a perilous thing 
To step between a parent and his child. 
Each for himself ; each father for his own ; 
No good can come of such philosophy. 
It weighs all things in theoretic scales. 
And meddles but to mar. The world is good ; 
Let it alone ; 'twill educate itself. 

The creature Ipok'd about him with a smile, 
That said, as plainly as a smile can say, 
How wise he was, nW practically true. 
Whereat another, taking up the chant, 
Said, ' Bah ! it irks my patience evermore, 
To hear such vulgar flattery of the crowd ; 
Were they not born to drudge, to groan, to sweat ? 
Is't not so written in the Book ? If so, 
Why give them knowledge they can never use ? 
A little of it is a poisonous thing, 
And much is utterly beyond their reach ; 
So, prithee, Master Quack, let well alone. 
If thou canst sing for our amusement, sing ! 
Or dance, then dance ! Or jest, then jest away ! 
Stand on thy head, cut capers in the air, 
Or anything thou wilt but preach of this.' 

Thereat the crowd laugh'd as with one accord 
And when the earnest man again essayed 
To speak his truth, they raised derisive shouts 
That stifled all his words upon his lips, 
And filPd his heart and mine with pity and grief. 



348 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

What more was said I know not, nor how long 
I stood amongst them ; but a sudden cry, 
And rushing of the people to one place, 
Aroused me from my lethargy, and, lo ! 
I heard a voice potential with the crowd, 
Coarse and stentorian, breaking on my ear. 
' Behold/ it said, ' behold the game of games, 
The chance of chances better than all trade, 
Commerce, or industry pursued by man. 
Who plays it well, grows wealthy in a day ; 
Who plays it ill may gain more great reward 
Than Labour, with his utmost pith and stress, 
Could sweat for in a life.' And as he spake, 
Loose scraps of paper flutter'd in his hands. 
There seem'd deep fascination in the sight, 
For every eye beseech'd, and every tongue 
Implored him for them. From his vulgar clutch 
They dropp'd like flakes of snow innumerous. 
And then the scramble and the crush began ; 
Old men and young, the famish'd and the full, 
The rich and poor, widow, and wife, and maid, 
Master and servant, all with one intent, 
Rush'd on the paper ; from their eager eyes 
Flashing a fierce unconquerable greed, 
Their hot palms itching, all their being filTd 
With one desire ; so that amid the press, 
If some were crush'd and smitten to the ground, 
They heeded not, but trod on fallen heads 
As unconcernedly as racing steeds 
Trample the sward. And still the paper flakes 
Fell fast around ; and still the crowd rush'd on, 
Roaring and wild, its myriad hands held up 
To grasp the glittering prizes ere they fell. 

Then came a pause. A fearful mockery 
Began to spread. Each call'd his fellow fool ! 
And every fool acknowledged so he was, 
But thought his neighbour greater fool than he. 
And there was laughter loud, and stifled groans, 
And shouts obstreperous, till, all at once, 
They dropp'd the scraps of paper from their hands, 
As if a leprosy were in the touch ; 
And in their haste, o'er-eager to depart 
From that gross presence, trod each other down. 
As in a burning theatre, a crowd 
Rushing by hundreds to one narrow door, 
Meet certain death to flee uncertain fire, 
So they in panic at the lust of gain, 
That each man saw in others, not in self, 
Fled in confusion, breathless and distraught, 
Nor cared who died, if they themselves escaped. 

I stood amazed, and blush'd for humankind, 



THE VISION OF MOCKERY. 349 

When on my ears a strain of music broke, 

Melting in soft harmonious cadences. 

I look'd, and, on a platform raised on high, 

Beheld a lady beauteous as the dawn, 

Dancing in robes of white and azure gauze ; 

Her breast Avas bare ; her limbs, nor bare nor hid, 

But full denned through her transparent robes, 

Fill'd the beholders with voluptuous thoughts. 

She seem'd to float upon the buoyant air, 

To be a creature of an element 

More spiritual than earth ; and when she smiled 

There was such witchery in her painted cheeks, 

That all the crowd, entranced with great delight, 

And quite forgetful of their past distress, 

Shouted with loud acclaim, and clapp'd their hands. 

And when she twirl' d upon her pliant toe, 

One fair limb vertical, the other raised 

To horizontal straightuess, such a burst 

Of irrepressible, overpowering joy, 

Fill'd all the air, it seem'd as men were mad, 

And dancing were supremest bliss of earth ; 

The fairest dancer, first of woman-kind. 

Then, as she curtsied with a winning look 

To her idolaters, a shower of wreaths, 

Garlands, and evergreens, and laurel crowns, 

Fell all around her, and another burst 

Of universal gladness rang around ; 

And she, descending from her platform, slid 

Graceful into her chariot, and the crowd 

Fill'd with new frenzy at her loveliness, 



Unyoked her prancing jennets, dapple-gray, 
i her forth triumphant to her home. 



And drew her 



Still more amazed, I left this fearful crowd, 
And wander'd out amid the quiet woods 
To hold communion with my secret soul, 
And note, in Memory's many-storied book, 
What I had seen and heard that pondering well 
Its true significance, I might extract 
Good from the ill, and from the darkness, light. 



350 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

THE KING AND THE NIGHTINGALES. 

A LEGEND OP HAVERING. 

[Havering-atte-Bower, in Essex, is reported by old historians to have been the favourite 
retirement of King Edward the Confessor, who so delighted in its solitary woods, that he 
shut himself up in them for weeks at a time. The legends say that he met with but one 
annoyance in that pleasant seclusion the contiiiual warbling of the nightingales, pouring 
such floods of music upon his ear during his midnight meditations, as to disturb his de- 
votions. He therefore prayed that never more within the bounds of that forest might 
nightingale's song be heard. His prayer, says tradition, was granted. The following versifi- 
cation of the story shows a different result to his prayers a result which, if it contradict 
tradition, does not, it is presumed, contradict poetical justice.] 

KING Edward dwelt at Havering-atte-Bower 
Old and enfeebled by the weight of power 
Sick of the troublous majesty of kings 
Weary of duty and all mortal things 
Weary of day weary of night forlorn 
Cursing, like Job, the hour that he was born. 
Thick woods environ'd him, and in their shade 
He roam'd all day, and told his beads, and pray'd. 
Men's faces pain d him, and he barr'd his door 
That none might find him ; even the sunshine bore 
No warmth or comfort to his wretched sight ; 
And darkness pleased no better than the light. 
He scorn' d himself for eating food like men, 
And lived on roots and water from the fen ; 
And aye he groan'd, and bow'd his hoary head 
Did penance, and put nettles in his bed 
Wore sackcloth on his loins ? and smote his breast 
Told all his follies all his sins confess'd 
Made accusations of liimself to Heaven, 
And own'd to crimes too great to be forgiven, 
Which he had thought, although he had not done-- 
Blackening his blackness ; numbering one by one 
Unheard of yillanies without a name, 
As if he doried in inventing shame, 
Or thought to win the grace of Heaven by lies, 
And gain a saintship in a fiend's disguise. 

Long in these woods he dwelt a wretched man, 
Shut from all fellowship, self -placed in ban 
Laden with ceaseless prayer and boastful vows, 
Which day and night he breathed beneath the boughs. 
But sore distress'd he was, and wretched quite, 
For every evening with the waning light 
A choir of nightingales, the brakes among, 
Deluged the woods with overflow of song. 
* Unholy birds/ he said, ' your throats be riven ! 
You mar my prayers, you take my thoughts from Heaven ! ' ^ 
But still the song, magnificent and loud, 
Pour'd from the trees like rain from thunder-cloud ; 
Now to his vex'd and melancholy ear 
Sounding like bridal music, pealing clear ; 
Anon.it deepen'd on his throbbing brain 
To full triumphal march or battle-strain; * 




Know, unhappy king, 
That true religion hates no living thing. 

The King and Niglutingale*.?. 351 



THE KING AND THE NIGHTINGALES. 351 

Then seem'd to vary to a choral hymn, 
Or De Profundis from cathedral dim, 
' Te DeumJ or ' Hosanna to the Lord? 
Chanted by deep-voiced priests in full accord. 
He shut his ears, he stamp'd upon the sod 

* Be ye accursed, ye take my thoughts from God ! 
And thou, beloved saint to whom I bend, 
Lamp of my life, my guardian, and my friend, 
Make intercession for me, sweet St John ! 

And hear the anguish of thy suffering son ! 

May nevermore within these woods be heard 

The song of morning or of evening bird ! . 

May nevermore their harmonies awake 

Within the precincts of this lonely brake, 

For I am weary, old, and full of woe, 

And their songs vex me ! This one boon bestow, 

That I may pray, and give my thoughts to thee, 

Without distraction of their melody ; 

And that within these bowers my groans and sighs 

And ceaseless prayers be all the sounds that rise. 

Let God alone possess me, last and first ; 

And, for His sake, be all these birds accursed ! ; 

This having said, he started where he stood, 
And saw a stranger walking in the wood ; 
A purple glory, pale as amethyst, 
Clad him all o'er. He knew th' Evangelist ; 
And, kneeling on the earth with reverence meet, 
He kiss'd his garment's hem, and clasp'd his feet. 

* Rise/ said the Saint, ' and know, unhappy king, 
That true Religion hates no living thing ; 

It loves the sunlight, loves the face of man, 
And takes all virtuous pleasure that it can 
Shares in each harmless joy that Nature gives, 
Bestows its sympathy on all that lives, 
Sings with the bird, rejoices with the bee, 
Ana, wise as manhood, sports with infancy. 
Let not the nightingales disturb thy prayers, 
But make thy thanksgiving as pure as theirs ; 
So shall it mount on wings of love to heaven, 
And thou, forgiving, be thyself forgiven/ 

The calm voice ceased ; King Edward dared not look, 
But bent to earth, and blush'd at the rebuke ! 
And though he closed his eyes and hid his face, 
He knew the Saint had vanish'd from the place. 
And when he rose, ever the wild woods rang 
With the sweet song the birds of evening sang. 
No more he cursed them ! Loitering on his way 
He listen'd, pleased, and bless'd them for their lay, 
And on the morrow quitted Havering 
To mix with men and be again a king, 
And fasting, moaning, scorning, praying less, 
Increased ia virtue and in happiness. 



352 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



THE NINE BATHERS. 



* I WOULD like to bathe in milk,' 
Said little Agnes, fresh and fair, 
With her taper fingers smooth as silk, 
Her cherry cheeks and nut-brown hair 
' In a bath of ivory, fill'd to the brim, 
I would love to lie and swim, 
And float like a strawberry pluck'd at 

dawn, 

In the lily-white waves of milk new- 
drawn.' 

' And I,' said Rose, with her eyes divine, 
' Would love to bathe in the ruddy wine, 
Trailing my long and coal-black locks 
In purple clarets and amber hocks ; 
And I would have a fountain play 
So that the wine might fall in spray, 
And I might stand in the sparkling rain, 
Statue-like in perfect rest ; 
And if the droplets left a stain, 
I'd have a fountain of champagne 
To wash the purple from my breast ; 
And troops of slaves, in rich attire, 
Should scatter myrrh and incense sweet, 
And bring me, should my looks desire, 
A golden ewer to wash my feet. 
I'd tread on carpets of velvet woof, 
My mirrors should reach from floor to roof, 
And every slave should envy me 
My loveliness and luxury.' 

' And I,' said Jane, with her eyes' dark 

glances 

Radiant with untold romances, 
' Would choose a milder bath than thine, 
Nor crumple my curls with fiery wine. 
In a bath of alabaster bright, 
In a marble-floor'd and lofty hall, 
Transplendent with the regal light 
Of a thousand lamps from roof and wall, 
Amid exotics rich and rare 
Filling with odours all the air, 
In clear rose-water I would lie, 
Like a lily on a lake serene, 
Or move my limbs to the harmony 
Of an orchestra unseen, 
Placed in a chamber far remote, 
And floating sing, and singing float.' 

' Sweet bath ! ' said the calm fair Mar- 
garet ; 
' But the bath I'd choose is sweeter yet. 



I'd have it in a rich saloon 
Open to the breeze of noon, 
With marble columns smooth and high, 
And crimson damask drapery, 
Fill'd with statues chaste and rare 
Of nymphs and gods divinely fair. 
Of jet-black marble the bath should be, 
With no white speck on its purity ; 
It should not flow with milk or wine, 
With scented waters or with brine ; 
It should be fill'd with meadow dew, 
Gather'd at morning in the grass, 
'Mid harebell-cups and violets blue. 
And my bath should be my looking-glass; 
And I would have a score of maids 
Glowing with beauty, each and all. 
To twist my locks in graceful braids, 
And dress me for a festival.' 

' And I,' said Lilias, raising her eyes 

Clear as mom, of passion full, 

1 Would love to bathe . under Eastern 

skies, 

In the palace gardens of Istamboul, 
In the hanging groves of Babylon, 
Or Bagdad, city of the sun. 
'Mid orange, date, and trailing vine, 
Palm, and myrtle, and eglantine ; 
I \yould have fifty fountains fair, 
'Mid bowers of roses and evergreens, 
And bathing in the odorous air, 
I would be waited on by queens/ 

'And I,' said Ann, with her drooping 

tresses, 

And eyes as full of love's caresses 
As the morning is of day, 
And mouth so ripe and kindly smiling 
'Twas never made to answer * Nay,' 
' I would bathe in the fresh blue sea 
With the wild waves sporting over me ; 
I would toy with the harmless foam, 
Passing my fingers like a comb 
Through the crest of each wave that 

rear'd 

Its spray, as white as Neptune's beard; 
With a fresh wind blowing across the 

reach, 

I would dive and float again and again, 
And dress myself on the bare sea-beach. 
In a nook invisible to men.' 



THE NINE BATHERS. 



353 



And I,' said Laura, ' would choose my 

bath 

Where a river took its lonely path 
On round smooth shingle, clear in its 

flow, 

Showing the pebbles that slept below, 
Through a flowery lawn well shaven and 

soft, 

And cool to the feet. I would not care 
For bands of music, if larks aloft 
FilTd with their songs the sunny air ; 
I would not ask for lustres bright, 
If the clear morning shed its light ; 
Nor for marble statue of youth and 

maid, 

If oaks and poplars lent their shade ; 
Nor for exotics of choice perfume, 
If the Meadow-sweet were fresh in 

bloom ; 

I would but ask for a summer day, 
And nearest eyes ten miles away.' 

1 And I,' said tuneful Isabel, 
With her soft blue eyes and cheek ver- 
meil, 
With her witching smile and modest 

blush, 

And voice to make the blackbird hush, 
'I would not bathe by the sea-beach 

cold, 

Nor river running through open wold ; 
I would not bathe in hafis of state, 
In wine, or milk, or honey-dew ; 
On me should no serving maidens wait, 
Nor luxury my senses woo. 
I would bathe far up in a Highland 

burn, 

Hidden from sight in its every turn, 
Deep embower'a 'mid pendent larch, 
And silver birches poised on high, 
With nothing alive to cross my path 
But the bright incurious butterfly ; 
In a limpid basin of the rocks 
I would unbind my flaxen locks, 
And lay my clothes on the mossy stone, 
Happy happy and all alone.' 

And I,' said Geraldine, smoothing back, 
From her stately brow, her tresses black, 
A blush, like morning over the isles, 
Dawning upon her cheeks, and smiles 
Flashing about her lips and eyes, 
Full of meanings and mysteries, 



' I would love to bathe in a quiet mere, 
As a mirror smooth, as a dewdrop 

clear, 
So still, that my floating limbs should 

make 

The only ripples upon the lake : 
I'd have it fringed with fruits and 

flowers, 

Forests and orchards, groves and bowers, 
That whenever I bathed in the noons 

of spring 

I might pluck laburnums blossoming, 
Or shake, as I floated, the lilac blooms, 
Or chestnut-cones with their rich per- 
fumes, 

Over my glancing neck and shoulders, 
Conceard in the leaves from all be- 
holders, 

Except from the ringdove too intent 
On her oAvn pleasures to look at mine ; 
And if I bathed when the flowers were 

spent, 
And peaches blush'd in the autumn 

shine, 

I would choose a solitary nook 
By the confluence of a brook, 
Where the apples were ripe, and the jet- 
black cherries, 

And the juicy luscious dark mulberries, 
Or jargonelles of a ruddy gold, 
And nectarines as sweet to taste 
As the kisses of urchins three years old, 
Grew within reach, that stretching in 

haste 
My hand to the boughs as I floated 

near, 

Or stood knee deep in the lucid mere, 
T might rustle and shake the pulpy 

treasure 
Into the water for my pleasure, 
Catchmg an apple as it fell, 
Or diving for a jargonelle.' 

Sweet maids, if bound by Fate's decree 
To choose amongst you for a bride, 
So great your charms, 'twould puzzle 

me 

For which dear Syren to decide. 
But were I Sultan of Cathay, 
With twenty thousand pounds a day, 
I would not choose but, ere I'd done, 
Woo and wed you every one ! 

23 



354 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 



A DOOM AND A CONFESSION. 

I WAS betray'd, and cruelly undone, 
Smitten to anguish in my sorest part, 
And so disgusted with all human life, 
That curses came spontaneous to my lips ; 
I cursed the day I cursed my fellow-men ; 
I cursed my God that made so bad a world. 
Goaded to frenzy by excess of pain, 
I tore my hair, I dash'd my bleeding head 
Against a wall ; sobb'd, wept, and gnash'd my teeth. 
I howl'd anathemas against myself 
For being man, and living on the earth. 
When suddenly a sweet and heavenly calm 
Fell on my spirit ; and a mild clear fight 
Diffused itself about me where I stood ; 
And I was conscious of a visible power 
Unutterably great, divinely good ; 
And a voice spake, not angrily, but sad : 
' Weak and unjust! thou hast blasj)hemed thy God; 
God, whom thou knowest not. Thou hast maiiarid 
Thy fellow-men. Live, till tliou knowest loth r 

The awful glory stole away my sense, 
Th' excess of splendour dazzled my dim eyes ; 
The clear words made me dumb ; and for a while 
Torpid and clod-like on the earth I lay. 
Till tli* ineffable brightness disaopeara. 
And when I waken'a, life was misery ; 
Burden too mighty for my flesh to bear. 

' Live till I know my God ! That might I well ; 
But live in sorrow till I know mankind? 
Heavy the curse ! But if it must be borne, 
Let me gain knowledge quickly, and so die ! ' 
Long did I live. One hundred years of time 
I held the faith that all my people held ; 
Observed their laws, and to a GOD of FEAR 
Knelt down in awe and worshipp'd His dread name. 
But still I lived, and cursed the weary days ; 
And had no love or reverence for my kind. 
And still my pain grew with my discontent, 
That I could not release myself and die. 

Youth in my limbs, but age upon my heart, 
I roam'd the earth. I dwelt among the Greeks ; 
I saw, well pleased, the majesty of life, 
The power of beauty, and the sense of joy ; 
The physical grandeur of the earth and heaven ; 
But God himself was stranger to my thought ; 
I had a worship, but no inward faith ; 
I pra/d to gods of human lineament, 



A DOOM AND A CONFESSION. 355 

Emblems of natural forces and desires ; 

I fill'd the woods with visionary shapes ; 

Peopled the hills, the vales, the rocks, the streams, 

The dark caves, and the sunny mountain-tops, 

With forms of beauty ; and conversed with them 

Upon unseen, unreal phantasies, 

Until they seem'd so palpable to sight, 

So like to men in passion, vice, and crime, 

I loathed, and shudder'd, and abhorr'd them all ; 

Nor knew in what abysm and hell of thought 

To sink remembrance. And I lived and lived 

Longer than hope ; and still I could not die. 

Then far away into the burning East 
I bent my steps. And at one drowsy noon, 
Under a palm-tree shade, beside a well, 
Sat down, and groan'd in bitterness of grief 
That God was still an alien to my soul. 

I cast my limbs upon the feverish ground 
And lay upon my face ; and with my tears 
Moisten'd the dust around me, praying still 
That I might die ; for I was sere of heart, 
Old, miserably old, and most forlorn. 

Thus lay I from the noon into the night, 
And from the night into the sudden dawn, 
And all that day I batten'd on my tears. 
When, lo ! there came a pilgrim by the way, 
A pale, deject, and wiry-featured wretch, 
With hands all sinewy, like a parrot's claws, 

mi n ps ' bright eyes .' suuk cheeks > and grizzled hair. 
I here was a comfort in his hideousness, 
As he sat down and gazed upon my grief, 
And gave me pity, and contemptuous cheer. 
' Brother/ he said, 'why what a fool art thou ! 
.Neither in time, nor in eternity, 
Neither in God, in nature, nor in man, 
Is there aught worth the weeping of an hour. 
'Tis good to run, but better far to walk; 
'Tis good to walk, but better to sit still ; 
Tis good to stand and wake, but better far 
To lie and sleep, untroubled by a dream ; 
lis good to be when thought has been destroy'd. 
Better, far better, never to have been. 
The grass is happy; happier is the stone. 
Highest of good is rest ; rest so sublime, 
feo deep, so thorough as to seem like death 
Be Rest thy god. Let the winds moan, not thou 
Let the skies weep, but shed not thou a tear; 
And sleep and fast thy troublous life away 
In one most happy and incessant calm, 
iill sweet annihilation blots thee out. 



356 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

This is Religion, this the only Faith ; 
Bliss is absorption Heaven is nothingness.' 

He led me with his eye, I follow'd him, 
And I becanie a dull insensate lump, 
And dozed in Buddha's temples night and clay ; 
I bruised in mortar of my selfishness 
All thoughts, all feeling, ah 1 desire, all vice, 
All virtue, into one amorphous mass 
Of apathy, and idiotcy, and sloth. 
How long I wallow'd in this senseless sty 
I never knew ; I was but half alive, 
And had no memory of time or change, 
Only at intervals a grievous pain. 

I was aroused at last, and scourged with whips, 
Kick'd, beaten, spat on, cast into the mire. 
Change had come o'er the places where I dwelt ; 
There was new law for men, new faith for God. 
The conqueror's sword had pass'd upon the plain, 
And what was spared did homage for its life. 
God and his Prophet were the lords of earth ; 
And suddenly awaked, I found that I, 
Even I, was living ; that the world was new 
Though I was old. most lamentably old, 
But still condemn d to mingle with my kind, 
And choose my faith. I did as others did, 
Learn'd the new law, and thought I served my God. 
I served him not. Obedience blind, inept, 
Unthinking, dull, insensate was the law. 
Fate lorded over Will ; Necessity 
Turn'd men into machines. I cast my eyes, 
Despairing still, upon the firmament, 
Jewell'd with worlds, and reason'd with myself, 
If Fate or "VVill upheld them in their place ; 
And in the infinite madness of my brain, 
Conceived that each, majestic as 'it shone, 
Was fill'd with misery and doubt like mine ; 
A rolling hell set in the sky to preach 
To other hells, as wretched as itself, 
The dreadful power, the boundlessness of ill. 
Long did I struggle with this deep despair, 
And vehemently pray, both morn and night, 
That I might be extinguisli'd utterly ; 
That I might lay upon the arid soil 
My lifeless bones, to feed the hungry roots 
Of hemlock or mandragora with lime ; 
That I at least might end my doubts in death, 
Though death were but the gate to other worlds 
Of spiritual anguish more intense than this. 

Another change came over me. Ere long 
I wanderM forth o'er Asiatic plains ; 



A DOOM AXD A CONFESSION. 357 

Dwelt with the lizard in the crumbling halls 

Of antique cities desolate, whose names 

Were lost from memory. I shared the tent 

Of roving spearmen and handitti fierce. 

So utter old and sad, that murderous tnieves 

Took pity on my want and misery, 

And spake me kindly, even when they loathed. 

I lay beneath the palms at set of sun, 

And wish'd that ravenous and night-prowling beasts 

Would tear me limb from limb before the dawn. 

I cross'd great deserts in the burning heat, 

Forded strong rivers, pierced through trackless woods 

A thing so utter sad, that the lean wolves 

Fled terror-smitten when they met my glance, 

And hungry serpents hiss'd and slunk away. 

How long the madness burn'd, 'twere vain to tell ; 
Time and Eternity seeni'd one to me. 
But in a bright and lovely summer's morn 
I felt my limbs supple and strong again ? 
As in my youth, ere grief and I were friends. 
Far had I journey'd to an eastern clime, 
'Mid an old people and an older faith. 
I found some comfort, yet I could not die. 
Still was Obedience law : childish and calm, 
Not to a blind and cruel destiny, 
But to the wise irrevocable rule 
Of a just Deity, that made mankind, 
And sent his clay-vicegerents to the earth, 
To rule them justly, if they would submit 
To walk for ever in the same dull track, 
To live and act, from barren age to age, 
In the same fashion, with the same desires, 
Same thoughts, same habits, and same prejudice ; 
More dull and senseless than a stagnant mire, 
That even in its rottenness and sloth 
Breeds something novel from its fruitful slime : 
But they bred nothing, only their dull selves ; 
And I despised them, hated them and lived ! 
And knew by living I was still accursed, 
And loved not God nor yet my fellow-men. 

There was no resting here : my fiery soul 
Felt mortal anguish to co-herd with theirs. 
I went again a wanderer o'er the earth, 
Taking no heed of time, or place, or change, 
But weary, weary, abject and forlorn. 

One vear ago 'twas but one little year 
I enter'd, in my rags and squalidness, 
A large fair city of the populous West : 
The church-bells rang, the people were astir 
In countless multitudes through all the streets ; 
Gay banners flaunted in the morning air, 



353 BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

And waves of music, from the Gothic porch 

Of a cathedral, rush'd in floods divine, 

Now in full tidal flow, and now in ebb, 

So grand, so awe-inspiring, that even T, 

Despised, abandoned, abject, and abhorred, 

Felt holy joy to listen to the sound, 

Which soothed my spirit with melodious peace. 

I listened long ; for my sad heart was full. 
I could have floated painlessly to death, 
And bless'd the music with my latest sigh, 
But that a sudden plucking at the hem, 
All mire-bedraggled, of my tatter'd robe. 
Caused me to turn : I saw a fair young face, 
Sweet even as hers who loved me in her youth 
She whom I now, for the first time, forgave 
For wrongs inflicted on my trusting heart ; 
kike k u t unlike ; lovely yet not so fair ; 
And at my miserable feet she knelt 
To crave ray blessing : * Blessing ! and from me ! 
From me, the vilest, meanest of mankind ? ' 
* Ay, and from thee !' she said ; we know thee well, 
Thou hast long sufferM thou'rt a saint of God.' 
And all the people, gathering round about, 
Join'd in her supplication ; kneeling down, 
, To crave my blessing not in mockery, 
But with deep reverence. Strange it seem'd, that I, 
Who had not known for spanless gulfs of time 
What blessing meant, should have the power to bless ! 

I could not bless her, for I felt my heart 
Glow with dear memories forgotten long, 
Brought back upon me by her mild sweet face. 
The burden of my long-enduring pain 
Was lighten'd by that pity, and I wept ; 
And every tear I shed oecame to me 
Belief and joy, as, with an earnest voice, 
I bless'd the people, showing them the while 
My own unworthiness more great than theirs ;' 
Unmeet my lips to utter words of peace, 
Who long had cursed myself and all my kind. 

And now the hoary portals opening wide, 
Forth issued an array of robed priests, 
In white and scarlet ; boys with censers flung 
Rich incense in the air, while others hymn'd, 
With sweet clear voice, ' Hosanna to the Lord ! ' 
And all the people knelt, and with them I. 
The solemn music fill'd the pliant air, 
And a religious sense was wafted round, 
Sense superadded, and unfelt before. 
I could not rise ; my cramp'd and weary joints 
Seem'd bloodless as the stones on which I knelt ; 
And the procession and the people pass'd 
& 



A REVERIE IN THE GRASS. 359 

In all their gorgeousness ; and I was left 
To my own strength, to follow if I list, 
Or lie upon the pavement and expire. 

I rose. I felt within my secret soul 
More peace than had been mine since the great curse 
Was spoken by the Presence for my sin. 
But as I could not stay to be a saint, 
And bear the flattery of the ignorant, 
With a new courage I endued my heart, 
And pray'd for strength, and went upon my way. 

Here am I now. In thy serene abode, 
I've gain'd new comfort from thy reverend lips, 
And learn'd the secret of my destiny. 
'Twas thou that taught me from the blessed Book 
That God is Love ; and that those serve Him best 
Who love their fellows, and obey the law, 
Sublime but easy, preach'd by Him who died 
To seal His doctrine by his guiltless blood. 

I have not long to live. My race is run. 
I would live longer, were it but to preach 
To other souls as wretched as my own, 
The mighty truth, that God is Love indeed ; 
But feel within me that mine hour is come. 
I shall not see the morning dawn again ; 
My sin is pardon'd I shall die in peace. 

Bury me by myself under a cross, 
And put a fair white tombstone o'er my grave. 
Place on it name, nor date, nor words, save these : 
* He learn'd in suffering that God was Love, 
And died in hope.' Bear with me for a while 
I shall not die ere I have slept an hour. 
Mine eyes are weary, let me close them now ; 
I shall awake to bless thee and depart. 
Visions of glory throng upon my soul : 
Brother, farewell, I'll see thee yet again, 
Here and hereafter. Let me slumber now. 



A REVERIE IN THE GRASS. 

HERE let me rest, amid the bearded grass, 
Sprinkled with buttercups ; and idly pass 
One hour of sunshine on the green hill-slope, 
Watching the ridged clouds that o'er the cope 
Of visible heaven sail quietly along ; 
Listening the wind, or rustling leaves, or song 
Of blackbird or sweet ringdove in the copse 
Of pines and sycamores, whose dark green tops 



360 BALLADS A ND L YRICAL POEMS. 

Form a clear outline right against the blue : 
Here let me lie and dream, losing from view 
All vex'd and worldly things, and for one hour 
Living such life as green leaf in a bower 
Might live ; breathing the calm, pure air, 
Heedless of hope, or fear, or joy, or care. 

Oh, it is pleasant in this summer time, 
To sit alone and meditate or rhyme ; 
To hear the bee plying his busy trade, 
Or grasshopper alert in sun and shade, 
With bright large eyes and ample forehead bald, 
Clad in cuirass and cuishes emerald. 
Here let me rest, and for a little space 
Shut out the world from my abiding-place ; 
Seeing around me nought but grass and bent, 
Nothing above me but the firmament ; 
For sucn my pleasure, that in solitude 
Over my seething fancies I may brood, 
Encrucibled and moulded as I list, 
And I, expectant as an alchymist. 

Oh, beautiful green grass ! Earth-covering fair ! 
What shall be sung of thee, nor bright, nor rare, 
Nor highly thought of ? Long green grass that waves 
By the wayside, over the ancient graves, 
Or shoulders of the mountain looming high, 
Or skulls of rocks, bald in their majesty, 
Except for thee, that in the crevices 
Liv'st on the nurture of the sun and breeze ; 
Adorner of the nude rude breast of hills. 
Mantle of meadows, fringe of gushing rills, 
Humblest of all the humble, thou shalt be, 
If to none else, exalted unto me, 
And for a time, a type of joy on Earth 
Joy unobtrusive, of perennial birth, 
Common as light and air, and warmth and rain, 
And all the daily blessings that in vain 
Woo us to gratitude : the earliest born 
Of all the juicy verdures that adorn 
The fruitful bosom of the kindly soil ; 
Pleasant to eyes that ache, and limbs that toil. 

Lo ! as I muse, I see the bristling spears 
Of thy seed-bearing stalks, which some, thy peers, 
Lift o'er their fellows, nodding to and fro 
Their lofty foreheads as the wild winds blow, 
And think thy swarming multitudes a host, 
Brawn up emoattled on their native coast, 
And officer'd for war : the spearmen free 
Raising their weapons, and the martial bee 
Blowing his clarion, while some poppy tall 
Displays the blood-red banner over all. 



FOLLOW YOUR LEADER. 361 

Pleased with the thought, I nurse it for a while, 
And then dismiss it with a faint half-smile. 
And next I fancy thee a multitude, 
Moved by one breath, obedient to the mood 
Of one strong thinker the resistless wind, " 
That, passing o'er thee, bends thee to its mind. 
See how thy" blades, in myriads as they grow, 
Turn ever eastward as the west winds blow 
Just as the human crowd is sway'd and bent, 
By some great preacher, madly eloquent, 
Who moves them at his will, and with a breath 
Gives them their bias both in life and death. 
Or by some wondrous actor, when he draws 
All eyes and hearts, amid a hush'd applause, 
Not to be utter'd, lest delight be marr'd ; 
Or, greater still, by hymn of prophet-bard, 
Who moulds the lazy present by his rhyme, 
And sings the glories of a future time. 

And ye are happy, green leaves, every one, 
Spread in your countless thousands to the sun ! 
Unlike mankind, no solitary blade 
Of all your verdure ever disobeyed 
The law of nature : every stalk that lifts 
Its head above the mould, enjoys the gifts 
Of liberal heaven the rain, the dew, the light ; 
And points, though humbly, to the Infinite; 
And every leaf, a populous world, maintains 
Invisible nations on its wide-stretch'd plains. 
So great is littleness ! the mind at fault 
Betwixt the peopled leaf and starry vault, 
Doubts which is grandest, and, with holy awe, 
Adores the God who made them, and wnose law 
Upholds them in Eternity or Time, 
Greatest and least, ineffably sublime. 



FOLLOW YOUR LEADER. 

I, 

* Follow your leader/' So said HOPE, 
In the joyous days when I was young; 

O'er meadow-path, up mountain-slope, 
Through fragrant woods, I follow'd and sung ; 

And aye in the sunny air she smiled, 
Bright as the cherub in Paphos born, 

And aye my soul with a dance she wiled, 
And tinged all earth with the hues of morn. 

Long she led me o'er hill and hollow, 
Through rivers wide, o'er mountains dun, 



BALLADS AND LYRICAL POEMS. 

Till she soared at last too high to follow, 
And scorch'd her pinions in the sun. 

IT. 

'Follow your leader ! ' So said LOVE, 
Or a fairy sporting in his guise. 

I followed, to lift the challenging glove 
Of many a maid with tell-tale eyes. 

I follpw'd, and dream'd of young delights, 
Of passionate kisses, joyous pains, 

Of honey'd words in sleepless nights, 
And amorous tear-drops thick as rains. 

But ah ! full soon the frenzy slacken'd ; 
There came a darkness and dimm'd the my, 

The passion cooPd, the sunshine blacken'd, 
I lost the glory of my day. 

in. 

* Follow your leader f ' So said FAME, 
In the calmer hours of my fruitful noon. 

O'er briery paths, through frost, through flame, 
By torrent and swamp, and wild lagoon, 

Ever she led me, and ever I went, 
With bleeding feet and sun-brown skin, 

Eager ever and uncontent, 
As long as life had a prize to win. 

But Dead-Sea apples alone she gave me, 
To recompense me tor my pain, 

And still though her luring hand she gave me, 
I did not follow her steps again. 

IV. 

' Follow your leader f ' So said GOLD, 
Ere the brown of my locks gave place to gray. 

I could not follow her looks were cold ; 
Icy and brittle was the way ; 

And GOLD spread forth her wiles in vain ; 
So taking POWER to aid her spell, 

' Follow your leader I ' exclaim'd the twain, 
1 For where we go shall pleasure dwell.' 

I follow'd, and followed, till age came creeping, 
And silver'd the hair on my aching head, 

And / lamented, in vigils weeping, 
A youth misspent, and a prime misled. 

v. 

c Follow your leader f ' I hear a voice, 
Whispering to my soul this hour ; 

* Who follows my light shall for ever rejoice, 
Nor crave the perishing arm of POWER ; 

Who follows my steps shall for ever hold 
A blessing purer than earthly love, 

Brighter than FAME, richer than GOLD 
So follow my light and look above/ 



THE WAYSIDE SPRING IN ALABAMA, 



363 



; Tis late to turn, but refuse I may not, 
My trustful eyes are heavenwards cast, 

And ever the sweet voice says, ' Delay not, 
I'm thy first leader and thy last.' 

VI. 

7 Tis the friend of my youth come back again, 
Sobered and chasten'd but lovelier far 

Than when in those days of sun and rain 
She shone in my path as a guiding star. 

She led me then, a wayward boy, 
To things of Earth and never of Heaven, 

But now she whispers diviner joy, 
Of errors blotted, of sins forgiven. 

To a purpling sky she points her finger, 
As westward wearily I plod, 

And while I follow her steps I linger, 
Calm as herself, in the faith of God. 



THE WAYSIDE SPRING IN 
ALABAMA. 

BONNIE wayside burnie, 

Tinkling In thy well, 
Softly as the music 

Of a fairy bell ; 
To what shall I compare thee, 
For the love I bear thee, 

On this sunny day, 
Bonnie little burnie 

Gushing by the way 1 
Thou'rt like to fifty fair things, 
Thou'rt like to fifty rare things, 
Spring of gladness flowing, 

Grass and ferns among, 
Singing all the noontime 

Thine incessant song ; 
Like a pleasant reason, 
Like a word in season, 
Like a friendly greeting, 
Like a happy meeting, 
Like the voice of comfort 

In the hour of pain, 
Or sweet sleep long vanish'd 

Coming back again : 
Like the heart's romances, 
Like a poet's fancies, 
Like a lover's visions 

Of his bliss to be ; 
Like a little maiden 

Crown'd with summers three, 
Magnalia Grove, near Mobile, Alabama, U.S 



Romping in the sunshine 

Beautiful to see ; 
Like my true-love's accents 

When alone we stray, 
Happy with each other 

Through the meads of May, 
Or sit down together 
In the wintry weather 

By the cheery fire, 
Gathering in that circl j 

All this world's desire, 
Hope and love and friendship, 
And music of the lyre ! 

Bonnie little burnie 

Winding through the grass, 
Time shall never waste thee, 

Or drain thy sparkling glass ; 
And were I not to taste thee 

And bless thee as I pass, 
'T would be a scorn of Beauty, 
'Twould be a want of Duty. 
'T would be neglect of Pleasure- 
So come thou little treasure I 

I'll kiss thee while I may, 
And while I sip thy coolness 

On this sunny day, 
I'll bless thy Gracious Giver, 
Thou little baby River 

Gushing by the way ! 



March, 1858. 



UNDER GREEN LEAVES. 1857. 



Under the greenwood tree, 
Who loves to lie with me. 
And tune his merry note 
Unto the sweet bird's throat, 
Come hither, come hither, come hither ! SHAKSPF.ARE. 



ONE HALF-HOUR. 



NOON, from the village tower, 

But ere the clock strike One, 
Ay, ere one short half-hour, 

Deeds shall be done. 
A warm and buzzing day, 
Scented with new-mown hay, 
And tremulous with song 
Floating green woods among, 
Lovely to me, who lie 
Under this happy sky, 
Tell me, oh, Spirit of Noon 

Haunting the turret-spire, 
What shall be done 

Ere thou expire ? 

ii. 

Over the sunny grass 

A shadow delayed to pass ; 

And with it came a sound 

From the tree-tops to the grotind,- 

An echo's echo dying, 

Or thought to a thought replying, 

Or music of the mind 

Not born of the summer wind, 

That seem'd to give it breath. 
And the song it made, 
In the greenwood shade, 

Was a song of Life and Death, 
Death in the shadow glancing, 
Life in the sunshine dancing ; 

Life and her sister Death. 



in. 



4 The glad air throbs with music, 

As suits a bridal day, 
And the chimes are merrily ringing 

From a thousand turrets gray. 
Strew roses ! gather posies ! 

Youth goes on his lusty way. 
The sad air sighs with music : 

Hark to the under-boom ! 
Over a thousand dells, 
Toll out the doleful bells ; 
There's dust for the hungry tomb. 
And lonely ships at sea 
Have Death in their company, 
Bury the mariners in the deep ! 

And let their white bones rest, 

Under the billows' breast, 
Where none can come to weep. 

IV. 

' Many an infant born, 
This pleasant summer morn, 

Shall die ere evening fall. 
And many a scheme that blows 
As freshly as the rose, 

Shall drop its leaflets all, 
And wither where it grows, 

Ere the next chime 

Shall tell the time. 
And many a desolate head, 

Weary of all the world has taugnt, 
Shall know the knowledge of the dead, 

And things surpassing thought. 



ONE HALF-HOUE. 



365 



v. 

' Crooning at lier door 

Sits the sailor's wife. 
Oh, sweet is her song and low, 
Like the ripple of streams that flow 
Where the long sedge-grasses grow, 
As she clasps her little child, 

That she loves beyond her life, 
To her heart so pure and mild, 
And thinks of the coming day, 
When he who is far away, 
Shall come again, 
Come again, 

Like the sweet, sweet sunshine after the 
rain, 

To guard and shield her as of yore, 

To love and cherish her more and 

more, 
Best joy in her world of pain. 

VI. 

4 And he whom she loves so well, 
More than her tongue can tell, 
Is battling with the wave, 
The gaping, greedy,gluttonous wave, 
That sucks him down to the pitiless 

grave, 

Far away out on the barren sea, 
With none but the stars so cold, 
And the moonlight silvery gold, 
Looking down 
From Heaven's high crown, 
On his fierce death-agony. 

VII. 

'The son returns with hard-earn'd 

wealth, 
To cheer his mother, whose locks are 

white; 
And his mother was laid, with the turf 

on her breast, 

In the churchyard yesternight. 
The husband comes to the wife he loves, 

And his little children dear ; 
And the wife hath fled to a stranger's 

bed, 

Nor left him even a tear 
To freshen his heart, that will shrivel 

with grief, 
Sapless fruitless sere. 

VIII. 

' Outside the castle gate, 
The beggar-woman sighs, 



With her pale twins at her bosom, 

And a light in her glaring eyes ; 
She thinks of the stately Duchess, 

So beautiful to see, 

On her prancing steed, in her hunting- 
gear, 

With her pages at her knee ; 
With her plume of ostrich feathers 

That waves to the summer air ; 
So young, so noble, and so rich, 

So far from the reach of care. 
And the beggar curses Fortune, 

And thinks of her babes forlorn, 
And fondles them, and hugs them, 

And weps that they were born. 

IX. 

' Inside the castle-gate, 

The Duchess sits alone, 
Her long brown hair dishevell'd, 

And streaming to her zone : 
She thinks of the beggar-matron, 

And sighs, unhappy wife ! 
That not to her is given 

One child to bless her life. 
' I'd give,' quoth she, * my jewels. 

My castle, my domains, 
My state, my rank, my title, 

And all that appertains, 
For one of the tender cherubs, 

That she, beloved of Heaven, 
Can fold to her fruitful bosom, 

And feel a blessing given. 
Oh, she is rich beyond me, 

'Tis I alone am poor, 
And starve in the midst of plenty ! 

Oh, teach me to endure ! 

x. 

* A knave sits plotting and spinning 

His coils and meshes dark, 
Alone in his secret places, 

Where he deems no eye shall mark. 
He sows the seeds of evil 

In his foglight, murk and dim, 
That they may grow in the autumn 
shine, 

Into ripe fresh fruit for him. 
Let him coil and spin 
His web of sin, 

Let him plant and dig and sow ! 
Fate hath a besom that can sweep, 
And fools may sow what wise men reap. 



366 



UNDER GREEN LEA YES. 



For the minutes ebb and flow, 
Balancing as they go ; 
And every minute as it flies, 
If it see a thousand knaves arise, 
Beholds a thousand fall, 
The question solves, 
The globe revolves, 
And God is over all ! 

XL 

' Great Caesar sits alone,* 

Weary and full of care : 
How shall his armies strive, 
How shall his people thrive 

In the battles that prepare, 
Whose murmur comes from a distant 
land 

In the under-tides of the air ? 
And shall he fall or stand, 

And are his servants true ? 
And are his enemies too strong 

For his right hand to subdue ? 
Weary and rack'd with thought, 

He shuts himself alone, 
And doth not know that his foe lies 
dead. 

That his rival's power is nought, 
That another is on his throne ; 

And that the high imperial head 
That troubled the world shall throb no 
more ; 

But lies as pulseless as a stone 
On the melancholy shore. 

XII. 

' He knoweth not of this : 

He summons Ms armed men, 
He passes the squadrons in review, 
With their captains, ten times ten ; 
He sends them east and west 

By the fiat of his word ; 
He grinds and taxes his docile realm, 

Till its inmost heart is stirr'd, 
And the props of his throne are 
shaken ! 

Oh, vain oh, worse than vain ! 
The heavens are black with tempest, 

And he dreameth not of rain. 
He looks far off for danger, 

And arms lest it should burst, 
While it slumbers at his footstool, 

And in his hand is nursed. 

leon III. on the death of the Em- 



Napoleon III. on th 
peror N icholas of Russia. 



XIII. 
A man with a brow care-furrowM 

And bright eyes gleaming proud, 
Walks to and fro in his chamber, 

And talks to himself aloud. 
" I have playM," quoth he, " and won, 
The deed of my life is done ; 
The hope of my youth and prime 
Is ripe at its destined time : 
I clutch the golden apple, 

I hold my head on high ; 
I thank thee, oh my Fortune, 

And let the world go by ; 
For grief no more shall touch me ! " 

Oh fool ! there's danger nigh ! 
Whatever grief thou'st borne, 
Whatever pangs have torn 
Thy desolate heart forlorn, 

Are nothing to compare 
With the brood of griefs that nestle 

At the core of tliine apple fair. 
They breed in thy happy fortune 

Thy dearest hopes to cross ; 
Poor dupe ! thy good is evil, 

Thy victory is Toss! 

XIV. 

' A young man sits lamenting 

With his children at his knee ? 
And his fond true wife beside him : 

" I am a wretch ! " quoth he ; 
" An evil fate pursues me ; 

Whate'erl touch I slay; 
And this, my last reliance 

My chance, my hope, my stay 
Has died like the last years blossoms, 

Never to bloom again I" 
Oh blind, to grieve at Fortune , 

Oh sluggard, to complain ! 
The thing which thou nast lost 

Was big with coming sorrow ; 
Joy dwelt on its lips to-day, 

Grief grew in its heart for morrow. 
Look up to Heaven, thou dreamer ! 

If smitten, thou art whole ; 
And learn that a pang surmounted, 

Is healing to the soul.' 

xv. 

Half-past twelve on the turret clock, 
Thou'rt gone, oh Spirit of Noon ! 

With the last faint echoes of the chime, 
That died in the woods of June. 



LULLINGSWORTH. 



367 



Thou'rt gone, in thy robe of amber, 

And diadem of flame, 
To make the wide world's circuit 

Another, and yet the same ; 
To bear God's justice with thee, 

And scatter it through the Earth ; 
To balance the wonder of our death 

By the mystery of our birth ; 
To humble the exalted, 

To turn the Wrong to Right, 
And out of the gloom of Evil 

To weave the web of Light. 
Kind and beautiful Spirit, 

Just and merciful Day, 
Bearing thy God's commission, 

To give and to take away ! 

March, 1855. 



LULLINGSWORTH. 

IT is an ancient house : 
Four hundred years ago 
Men dug its basements deep, 
And roofd it from the wind; 
And held within its walls 
The joyous marriage-feast, 
The christening and the dance. 
Four hundred years ago 
They scoop'd and fill'd the moat, 
Where now the rank weeds grow, 
And waterlilies vie 
In whiteness with the swans 
A solitary pair 
That float, and feed, and float, 
Beneath the crumbling bridge 
And past the garden- wall. 

Four hundred years ago 
They planted trees around 
To shield it from the sun ; 
And still these oaks and elms, 
The patriarchs of the wold, 
Extend their sturdy boughs 
To woo the summer breeze. 
The old house, ivy grown, 
Red, green, and mossy gray, 
Still lifts its gables quaint ; 
And in the evening sun 
Its windows, as of yore, 
Still gleam with ruddy light 
Reflected from the west. 



Still underneath the eaves, 
Or rafters of the porch, 
The glancing swallow builds ; 
Still through its chimneys tall 
Up streams the curling smoke 
From solitary fires, 
For still the ancient race 
Lives in the ancient home, 
But of its glory shorn, 
And hastening to decay. 

Its last descendant dwells, 
Childless and very old, 
Amid the silent halls : 
He loves the lonely place, 
Its furniture antique, 
Its panels of rich oak 
Worm-eaten and grotesque, 
Its manuscripts and books, 
Its pictures on the walls, 
And carvings on the stair. 
7 Tis all he hath to love ; 
Its lif e hath pass'd away 
The beautiful human life 
And left him frail and sad, 
A waif on Time's bleak shore. 

No children in its courts 
Carol, like happy birds, 
The livelong summer day. 
No maidens with blue eyes 
Dream of the trysting-hour, 
Or bridal's happier time. 
No youths with glowing hearts 
Muse, in its shady walks, 
Of high heroic deeds, 
Or glory to be sought 
In perilous fields of fame. 
The very dog is mute, 
And slumbers on the hearth, 
Too impotent to bark. 
The cawing rooks alone 
Maintain tne song of life, 
And prate amid the elms 
With harsh rough colloquy 
A music in itself, 
Or if not music, joy. 

The Lord of Lullingsworth 
Is lonely, not austere : 
A melancholy man, 
With long locks flowing white, 
And back unbent by age, 
Beloved, yet little known. 



363 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



He seeks not intercourse 
But takes it if it comes 
Except with little babes, 
Who gather round his path 
Or cling about his knees 
And love, yet know not why, 
The melancholy man. 
These, and the village priest. 
His almoner and friend, 
Are all his confidants. 

A generous hand he hath, 
And giveth liberal dole 
How liberal no one knows. 
A something for the school 
Or for the village church ; 
A something for old friends 
Who've fall'n to penury ; 
Or ancient servitors, 
Too feeble for their work ; 
A something for the State, 
When Patriotism calls, 
Or high Philanthropy ; 
A something for the needs 
Of sickness and distress, 
Of helpless orphan babes 
And widows left forlorn ; 
A something for himself, 
Perchance the least of all ; 
So flows the stream of wealth, 
That once more affluent 
Ran in impetuous flood 
And spent itself in pomp ; 
But now, a quiet brook, 
Trickles through by-ways green 
And edges them with flowers. 

The house hath many tales :- 
Four hundred years of men, 
Of human birth and death, 
Of love, and faith, and hope, 
Of glory and of shame, 
And all that mortals feel, 
Might yield large histories, 
If there were tongues to tell. 
But no one knows their scope. 
The incidents are blurr'd, 
Or else forgotten quite ; 
Gone with the song of birds, 
Or with the leaves that fell 
In ancient centuries. 
A few perchance survive 
In mouldy chronicles, 



Or hang upon the lips 
Of parish pensioners. 
But if you'd hear one tale, 
Amid the multitude, 
And gather on the shore 
One little grain of sand, 
That grain a human life, 
Listen, and you shall hear 
This old man's history. 

'Twas forty years ago, 
The Lord of Lullingsworth 
Led home his happy wife, 
The joy of all who saw, 
The glory of his heart 
'Twas twenty years ajjo, 
A pale and patient saint, 
Still young; and fair, she died. 
And left him in the world, 
A maze without a clue, 
A tree without a root ; 
Yet not all desolate, 
Nor utterly forlorn. 

Four daughters and three sons, 
The eldest sweet eighteen, 
The youngest but a day, 
Reraain'd around his hearth 
To cheer his downward path. 
And much he loved them all ; 
Much for their own dear sakes 
Much for their mother's, lost, 
And much for love return'd. 

He thought as he caress'd 
Each infant in his arms, 
And listened with delight 
To every lisping word, 
Sweeter than word full spoke, 
And heard the sham clear laugh 
Of Innocence and Joy 
Ring merry through the hall, 
That Time had not the power 
Or Circumstance the art 
To make him cherish more 
These links from Earth to Heaven,- 
The children of the dead. 

But each returning day 
Beheld his love increase, 
Until he sometimes fear'd 
Such fond idolatry 
Of creatures of the earth 
Was blasphemy to Heaven. 



LULLINGSWOtiTIL 



369 



But Love transcends the mind ; 
And Reason, if it strive 
Against Love's high decree, 
Strives but with spears of straw, 
Against stone battlements ; 
Or if it fly the strife, 
It abdicates its throne, 
And serves as minister 
The king it might depose. 

As each ingenuous heart 
Expanded in his smile, 
And each young intellect 
Unfolded like a flower 
Beneath the kindly beams 
Of his paternal face, 
He look'd around his hearth ; 
And though one vacant place 
Threw o'er his happiness 
The shade of bygone grief, 
He counted all his flock, 
And said within himself, 
* The world is good and fair, 
And I am happy yet ; 
Lord ! who hath given me these, 
Preserve them one and all, 
That I may train them up 
To glorify Thy name, 
And meet me, glorified, 
At the appointed time, 
Before Thy Throne of Grace.' 

So grew they in his sight, 
His task, his hope, his joy, 
His recompense of life ; 
Till one unhappy morn 
Insidious Fever crept, 
A serpent, to his fold ; 
And not content with one, 
Snatch'd from his jealous arms 
Three younglings of Ms flock, 
The sweetest, best-beloved, 
The tendrils of his heart. 
Not best-beloved in life, 
But oh, far more than best. 
When Death transfigured tnem, 
And o'er the pallid clay 
Threw his celestial robes. 
None saw the father weep. 
His face was always calm, 
Serene, and sad as night, 
Begemm'd with inner worlds 
Of silent suffering. 



Years pass'd ; and from his lips 
There issued no complaint. 
Four treasures still remained, 
Brought nearer to his heart 
By thought of those in Heaven. 
If to the little world 
That watch'd his daily life, 
And knew how good and brave 
And generous he was, 
There seem'd to be a change 
In look, or word, or deed, 
It was that in his eyes 
Seem'd pity more benign ; 
In every word he spake 
More genial sympathy. 
And in his liberal hand 
Beneficence more rich. 

He had but tasted grief ; 
The overbrimming cup 
Was offer'd to his lips, 
And he had drank, and lived. 
The cup was yet to drain ; 
And happy he the while, 
That knew not, nor could dream 
The misery of the draught. 

Short were the history, 
If told by fact, and date, 
And sequence of event. 
Long were the history, 
If told by agonies 
Endured from day to day 
And bravely fought against, 
Until the unequal stnfe 
Made havoc in the halls 
And garden of the soul ; 
Laid waste the pleasant paths, 
And rooted up the flowers, 
Sweet flowers, to bloom no more ! 
But long or short, 'tis sad, 
As all life-histories are, 
Could tongues interpret them. 

Prop of his house, his son, 
By high ambition fired, 
Intolerant of ease, 
Went forth in honour's ranks 
To fight his country's foes. 
He died the hero's death, 
Waving a snow-white plume 
To cheer his followers, 
And planting on the breach^ 
24 



370 



UNDER GREEN LEAVES. 



Won by his bravery, 

The flag without a peer ; 

His last words ' Victory ! 

My father ! Bear him this ; ' 

(A locket of dark hair) 

* And tell him how I died ! ' 

Two other sons fair boys 
As radiant as the morn, 
And fresh as blooms of May, 
Return'd from Eton's halls, 
Greedy of holidays, 
And joys of happy home. 
They bathed themselves at noon, 
In clear inviting stream. 
They frolick'd on the shore, 
They braved remoter depths, 
They gamboll'd in the flood, 
And turning on their backs, 
Floated, with face to Heaven, 
In easy luxury, 
As white and pure as swans ; 
Then dived in daring sport. 
And wantonness of strength, 
For pebbles deep adown, 
Which having gain'd, they threw 
Up in the suuuy air, 
And caught them as they fell. 
There was not in the world, 
In all its wealth of life 
And innocence and joy, 
Two happier, brighter things, 
More beautiful than they. 

A sudden cry of pain 
Bang through the mead a mile, 
And startled, at the sound, 
The younger brother turn'd, 
And saw his elder born 
Battling the deeps for life, 
And all his fan- young face 
Alight with agony. 

Impulsive as a thought, 
He swam, and grasp'd the hand 
Outstretch'd in mind despair. 
'Twas Death's convulsive throe ! 
The dying swimmer caught 
That weak fraternal hand, 
That fond fraternal neck, 
And bore into the grave 
The young and tender lif e, 
For whose superior sake 
He'd thrice have given his own. 



'Twas a short agony 
That took them both to heaven. 
Go to the village church, 
You'll see their cenotaph, 
A master-piece of art. 
Lock'd in each other's arms 
The marble seraphs lie ; 
Lovely hi form and face, 
But not so beautiful, 
Or so divinely fair, 
No, not by absent soul 
As those whose purity 
They strive to shadow furth. 

All thought this bitter grief 
Would break the father's heart. 
Perchance it did none knew. 
He travell'd into France, 
To Italy and Spain, 
He ana his eldest born, 
His loveliest and his last. 
Oh, sweet beyond compare, 
In roseate bloom of youth, 
And dazzling womanhood, 
She glitter'aat his side ; 
Men saw her in a crowd 
And knew no other face ; 
And when she glided out 
From church or festival, 
They knew not how it was. 
But felt the place was dark. 

Before her brothers died 
The maiden was betroth'd 
To one her sire approved, 
And would have chos'n himself 
As helpmate of her life, 
If she, with finer sense, 
Had not from all mankind 
Singled him out true soul 
Her own soul's counterpart. 

Time pass'd, and she was wed ;- 
And happiness once more 
Seem'd dawning o'er the Hall, 
To light its avenues 
With human intercourse, 
And cheer the sad old man. 
Age dreams as well as youth ; 
He hoped, he dream'd, he pray'd, 
That this beloved tree 
Would blossom at its time, 
And bear its tender fruit- 



LULLING SWORTH. 



371 



The blooms of wedded life- 
Through all his latest years, 
To make him blest amends 
For dearer treasures lost. 

Fond hope, that never grew 
To hope's fruition fail* ! 
The Rose so full of sweets, 
The Rose so fondly prized, 
So beautiful and frail, 
Bore one untimely bud, 
And perish'd where she grew, 
Leaving two hearts forlorn, 
One young, with strength, mayhap, 
To live and love anew ; 
One sad and weary old, 
Too old to hope again. 

How merciful is Heaven : 
The oak foredoom'd to brave 
Five hundred years of storm, 
Grows hard and rough of rind, 
And finds in storm itself 
A sustenance and power. 
The blind man's universe, 
Uncheer'd by light of Heaven, 
By man's or Nature's face. 
Throbs with ecstatic sound 
And music of the spheres. 
And in our daily life, 
The arrows aim d to kill, 
The accidents, the pit, 
The perilous fire or flood, 
Receive not every day 
The victims they demand. 
The arrow, warp'd aside, 
Avoids Achilles' heel, 
And guardian angels fly 
On wings of sudden thought, 
Or come, life messengers 
In God's electric car, 
Whose wheels are impulses, 
To lead us unperceived 
Beyond the crowded path 
Where ambush'd dangers lie ; 
To heal th' envenom'd wound, 
Or shield us from the blow. 

The kind and tender heart 
Broke not, but bore its grief ; 
And Patience, like a crown, 
Shone on his wrinkled front, 
And mark'd him for a king. 
But if the heart escaped, 



The delicate brain gave way. 
An atom was displaced 
From Reason's perfect throne ; 
Th' intangible chord was snapp'd 
Which binds the soul to sense ; 
The clear aerial bells 
That make sweet hcarmonies 
In Thought's imperial dome, 
Were smitten out of tune, 
And yielded back no more 
Their beautiful accord. 

The balance of Iris mind 
In all his common life, 
In converse with the world, 
In duty's ceaseless round, 
In home or state affairs, 
In courtesies complete, 
Or high philosophy, 
Preserved its evenness. 
On one dark point alone 
The balance was destroyed. 
On one pervading thought 
The bells were out of tune 
If out of tune they were 
And not by spirit hands 
Attuned, ineffable. 
To higher harmonies 
Than pure cold Reason dreams. 

The children were not dead, 
Nor she, the saint who bore ! 
The losing of the last. 
Restored them all to life, 
Young, beautiful, beloved, 
As in the bygone tune 
When in Iris path they grew, 
Companions of his hours. 

All other creatures die ; 
The green earth covers them ; 
But in his waking thought 
These live immortally, 
And know not Death's embrace, 
Nor cold Corruption's lip. 
He sees them in his walks ; 
His wife still comforts him ; 
His little children still 
Gambol about his feet, 
And prattle in his ear. 

Each day at morn and noon, 
And at his evening meal, 



372 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



His board is spread for nine ; 
His inner eyes behold 
Eight spirits at his side, 
Each in the usual place, 
Visible -palpable. 
In their high company, 
A calm pure happiness 
Dwells in his soul serene, 
And feeds itself on thoughts 
Too great for utterance. 
Life blossoms out of death ; 
Nothing shall part them more ! 

Thus God's great balances 
Bight every seeming wrong, 
Atone for every ill, 
And in the poison'd cup 
Infuse the precious balm, 
That out of transient pain 
Makes lasting happiness. 
Who knows this old man's joy ? 
None but himself, perhaps 
Perhaps not even he. 
Thou who hast heard the tale 
Believe that Heaven is just, 
And bear thy lot resignU 



THE TWO HOUSES. 



* TWILL overtask a thousand men. 

With all their strength and skill, 
To build my Lord ere New Year's eve 

His castle on the hill.' 
1 Then take two thousand,' said my Lord, 

1 And labour with a will.' 



They wrought, these glad two thousand 
men, 

But long ere winter gloom, 
My Lord had found a smaller house, 

And dwelt in one dark room ; 
And one man built it in one day, 

While the bells rang ding, dong, 

boom ! 
Shut up the door ! shut up the door ! 

Shut up the door till Doom ! 



THE BRIONY WREATH. 

i. 

I TWINED around my true love's brow, 

Amid her dark brown hair, 
A wreath of Briony from the hedge. 

With rings and berries fair ; 
And call'd her * Lady Briony,' 

And darling of the air. 

n. 

We walk'd like children, hand in hand, 

Or on the meadow-stile 
Sat down, not seeking happiness, 

But finding it the while 
In Love's unconscious atmosphere, 

Or sunlight of a smile 

in. 
1 Sweet Lady of my heart,' I said, 

' Thou chid'st me in the morn, 
For talking of the "worthless weeds" 

With unconsider'd scorn ; 
But now, for bonnie Biiony's sake, 

The chiding shall be borne. 

IV. 

' So pleasant are its tendril -rings, 
That twist and curl and twine ; 

So graceful are its leaves and fruit 
Amid those locks of thine ; 

Henceforth to me shall Briony 
Be equal of the Vine.' 

v. 
' But not for sake of me ! ' she said ; 

4 I'd have thee just and true, 
And love the wild weeds for themselves, 

Sweet babes of sun and dew, 
As virtuous as the Rose herself, 

Or Violet blushing blue. 

VI. 

' Of all the weeds, and bounteous buds, 
That drink the summer shower, 

And lift their blossoms through the com, 
Or smile in hedge and bower, 

I plead the cause ; come hear the tale 
And love them from tlu's hour. 

VII. 

' You've call'd me Lady Briony ; 
Behold my sisters bright, 



THE INTERVIEW. 



373 



My fair companions of the wood, 
Who love the morning light, 

Valerian, Saffron, Camomile, 
And Rue, and Aconite ; 

VIII. 

' The golden Mallow of the Marsh, 
The Hemlock, broad and rank, 

The Nightshade, Foxglove, Meadow- 
sweet, 
And Tansy on the bank, 

And Poppy with her sleepy eyes, 
And Water-Iris dank. 

IX. 

1 Are we not fair ? Despise us not ! , 
We soothe the couch of pain ; 

We bring divine forgetfulness 
To calm the stormy brain ; 

And through the languid pulse of life 
Prop healing, like the rain. 

x. 

' There's not a weed, however small, 
That peeps where rivers flow, 

Or in the bosom of the woods 
Has privilege to grow ? 

But has some goodness in its breast, 
Or bounty to bestow. 

XI. 

' And if we poison ; yours the fault ! 

Behold, our green leaves wave, 
And seem to sigh as men go past, 

Wayfarers to the grave ; 
" Use us unwisely, we may kill, 

Use wisely, and we save." 

XII. 

Our virtues and our loveliness 

Are none the less our own, 
Because you fail to seek them out, 

Or miss them when they're shown ; 
And if we're common, so is light, 

And every blessing known/ 

XIII. 

1 Well pleaded, Lady Briony ! 

Thou'rt good as thou art fair ; 
And were there no one in the copse, 

I'd kiss thy lips, I swear ! ' 
Her laugh rang merry as a bell 

' Well, kiss me, if you dare !' 



THE INTERVIEW. 



HEAVILY the rain-drops 

Smote the pane ; 
On the housetop hoarsely 

Creak'd the vane ; 
The wind came battering by, 
Like fierce artillery 

Against a town ; 
Or with a fitful wail 
Orept through the leafless vale 

Or moorland brown. 

ii. 

In that wintry midnight, 

Through the gloom, 
I beheld a vision 

In my room ; 

I shudde/d at the sight, 
Its face in ghastly light 

Familiar shone ; 
And all its heart lay bare 
As a landscape in tne air, 

Mine own ! mine own ! 

in. 
; Twas my face before me, 

Pallid-hued ; 
'Twas mine eyes beheld me 

Where I stood. 
Pointing its fingers thin, 
This thing, with hideous grin, 

And angry start, 

Exclaim'd, * Thou kno west much ; 
Knowest thou this, I touch ? ' 

And touch'd its heart. 

IV. 

With a flash electric, 

It became 
Paloable before me 

Like a flame ; 
And I could read and see 
Its inmost mystery, 

And breach of law ; 
Its guilty passion strong, 
Its weakness hidden long, 

And blackest flaw. 



Perfidies unnumber'd ; 
Secrets dire, 



374 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



Written out and burning 

As with fire ; 
The motives of a life, 
Laid bare as with a knife. 

Through quivering flesh ; 
Dead things that no man knew, 
Most wretched, but most true, 

Revived afresh. 

VI. 

All my love and madness ; 

All my guilt ; 
All my tears of anguish 

Vainly spilt ; 
My agonies and fears ; 
The skeletons of years ; 

My hopes entomb'd ; 
My crimes ; my broken truth ; 
Upfrorn the deeps of youth 

Before me loom'd. 

VII. 

' Hide it. cruel spirit. 

Or I die! 
'Tis too vile to look at 

With life's eye ! ' 
I cover'd up my face ; 
Between me and its place 

Came mist and cloud : 
'And is this heart, my heart , 
So foul in every part ? ' 

I groan'd aloud, 
yni. 
Light broke in upon me 

From afar ; 
And faith in God, high-shining 

Like a star. 

And when I look'd again, 
I saw, amid the stain 

Of that frail clay, 
A glow of pure desire 
A spark of heavenly fire 

Burning alway. 

IX. 

* Shall I sit lamenting ? 

Ah, not so ! 
Sympathy and pity 

For men's woe, 
A love surpassing death, 
A calm but humble faith, 

To me are given ; 
Accuser ! in this hour 
My heart defies thy power, 

With strength from Heaven ! 



THE STEPPING-STONES. 

i. 
MAIDEN on the stepping-stones 

O'er the brawling river, 
Pass, nor stop to gaze below ; 
Heed not how the waters flow, 

Rolling on for ever. 

ii. 
Shallow seeming, deep as death, 

Rolls the haunted river ; 
Evil spirits in its wave 
Lurk to drag thee to the grave, 

Pitiless for ever. 

in. 

If thy garment's hem but touch 

That exulting river, 
If thy feet but ston to play 
With a ripple on tlie way, 

Thou art lost for ever. 

IV. 

Clear and pure it seems to run 

False deluding river ! 
At thy touch its waves will swell, 
Frothing, foaming, each a ^vell 

Gurgling up for ever. 

v. 

Maiden on the stepping-stones 

O'er the brawling river, 
Pray to God to be thy guide 
From the fiends on either side, 
Tempting thee for ever. 



THE MUSICIAN. 

PART I. EARTH-SORROWS. 

THE melodies ! the harmonies ! 

They fall from my ringers free, 
Like rain where the tree-tops quiver, 
Like hail on the rippling river, 

Like sunbeams on the sea. 
And there are thoughts within them, 

And fancies fresh and young ; 
But, alas ! I cannot utter them 

For failure of my tongue. 
The melodies, the harmonies, 

Unspoken and unsung ! 



THE MUSICIAN. 



375 



I would I were a poet, 

And that my thoughts could reach 
The magic and the mystery, 

And affluence of speech ; 
That I might tell my secrets 

And all that I could teach ; 
Or that some kindly minstrel, 

With thoughts akin to mine, 
Would deign to sit beside me, 

And help me to entwine 
My music with his language 

Into a chain divine, 
That men might bind their hearts with, 

Like a trellis'd vine. 

But the melodies ! the harmonies ! 

They die as they are born, 
With none to understand them; 
So sweetly as I plann'd them, 

In my joy forlorn ! 
The breath of an emotion 

And a happy pain, 
They drop on the wide, wide ocean, 

Like the useless rain ; 
And when I would revive them, 

I look for them in vain. 

PAET II. HELL-PAINS. 

Oh, vile, vile catgut-scrapers, 

Tormentors of sweet Sound, 
That bruise her, and destroy her, 

My queen, my goddess crown'd ! 
What has dear Music done, 

She that so loveth us, 
Ye bloodless and stone -hearted, 

That you should use her thus ? 
Each movement of your arms 

Goes through me like a pang ! 
Ye singers and horn-blowers, 

There's death in every twang ! 
'Twas surely Satan school'd you, 

And well you've learn'd your parts, 
To vex, to plague, to torture 

Our unoffending hearts ! 

You could not be more cruel, 
If, wielding barbs and prongs, 

You dug them in my bosom, 
And call'd the misery, songs ! 

My ear is wrerich'd and bleeding 
At every note you make ; 

Be silent oh, be silent 



For heavenly Pity's sake ! 



What would I give ! what tribute 

Of worship and of tears, 
If Song, as I have dream'd it, 

Could flow on my happy ears ! 
If one one only singer, 

Amid this peopled earth, 
Could understand my music 

As I who gave it birth ; 
Such as my soul design'd it ! 

Alas ! 'tis vain to seek ; 
Men sing, and the hot blood rushes 

In machiess to my cheek, 
And women tear my heart out, 

As they squeal, and scream, and shriek. 

Come, bore in my ear with corkscrews ! 

Make every nerve a knot, 
And pierce my brain with needles, 

If pain must be my lot ; 
But cease, oh ! cease, in mercy 

This misery supreme, 
That Hell can never equal ! 

And let me lie and dream 
That to my soul, long-suffering, 

Will due reward be given, 
My music sung by angels 

Amid the choir of Heaven ! 

PART III. HEAVEN-JOYS. 

Music ! my delight ! 

My soul's supremest joy ! 
Let me lie to-night, to-night, 

On thy bosom coy ! 
Let me lie all night awake, 

Embalm'd in thy honey breath, 
That wafts me up to Heaven, 

In a wild ecstatic death. 
Up ! up ! above the stars 

With thee I float ! I soar ! 
To the shadow of God's throne ! 

To the world-bespangled floor ! 
Where sit the white-robed seraphs, 

Singing for evermore ! 

Music ! oh, my Life ! 

How beautiful art thou ! 
With the Love in thy deep, deep heart, 

And the Wisdom on thy brow ! 
As I play with the golden hair 
That falls o'er thy shoulders fair, 

I deem that every thread 
To my toying fingers given, 



376 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



Is a ray of sunlight spread, 
Or a string from the Harp of Heaven 
I feel thy beating heart, 

And know, sweet lady mine, 
That it throbs to the march of worlds 

With a harmony divine. 
I touch ; but dare not kiss thee, 

For the glow of thy burning eyes, 
Lest I should yield my spirit 

In my speechless ecstasies, 
And be slain like a mortal lover 

Who dares to raise his thought 
To the beauty of a goddess, 

Loving, but lightning-fraught ! 

Yet, since I'm born to die, 

And to float into the Past, 
Let me die on thy beating bosom, 

My Bride, my first and last ! 
Drinking thy whispered rapture, 

Let me faint upon thy breast, 
And melt away in echoes, 

Immortal with the blest ! 



HORNYHAND. 



How now, Homyhand, 

Toiling in the crowd, 
What is there in thee or thine 
That thou scornest me and mine, 

Looking down so proud ? 
Thou'rt the bee ! and I'm the drone ! 

.Not so, Hornyhand ! 
Sit beside me on the sward ; 

Where's the need to stand ? 
And we'll reason, thou and I, 
Iwixt the green grass and the sky. 



ii. 



Thou canst plough and delve, 

Ihou canst weave and spin, 
On thy brow are streaks of care, 
Iron-gray's thy scanty hair 

And thy garment's thin ; 
Were it not for such as thou, 

Toiling morn and night, 
Luxury would lose its gauds, 

And the land its might ; 
Mart and harbour would decay 
Tower and temple pass away. 



nr. 



Granted, Hornyhand ! 

High's the work you do ; 
Spring-time sowing, autumn tilth, 
And the red wine's lusty spilth, 

Were not but for you. 
Art and arms, and all the pride 

Of our wealth and state, 
Start from Labour's honest hands, 

Labour high and great, 
Sire of Plenty, friend of Mirth, 
Master of the willing Earth. 

IV. 

Yet, good Hornyhand, 

Why shouldst thou be vain ? 
Why should builder, ploughman, smith, 
Boastful of their strength and pith, 
Scorn the busy brain ? 
Working classes, self-bedubb'd ! 

As if none but they 
Labour'd with incessant toil, 

Night as well as day, 
With the spirit and the pern- 
Teachers, guides, and friends of men ! 



Drones there are, no doubt; 

Yet not all who seem : 
?lesh and blood are not the whole 
There's a honey of the soul, 
Whatsoe'er thou deem. 
s the man who builds a book, 

That exalts and charms, 
Not as good as he who builds 

With his brawny arms '/ 
Vhat were Labour but for Thought?- 
Baseless effort, born of nought ! 

vr. 
Many a noble heart, 

Manv a regal head, 
^abours for our native land 
larder than the horniest hand 

For its daily bread, 
ainter, poet, statesman, sa-e 

Toil for humankind, 
nrewarded but of Heaven, 

And the inner mind, 
hou recautest ? So ! 'Tis done ! 
ass from shadow into sun 1 



OBVERSE AND REVERSE. 



377 



OBVERSE AND REVERSE. 



PART I. THE SEMPSTRESS. 



I WISH I were an Empress, 
And had a crown to wear, 

A stomacher of diamonds, 
And pearls to deck my hair, 

And a train of purple velvet 
For noblemen to bear. 

n. 

I wish I were an Empress, 

And sat upon a throne, 
Receiving great ambassadors 

From every clime and zone ; 
With princes at my footstool 

To make my pleasure known. 

in. 
I wish I were an Empress, 

And rode a prancing bay, 
Amid my people shouting 

And garlanding my way ; 
With trumpeters before me 

Tooroo ! Tooroo ! Tooray ! 

IV. 

I wish I were an Empress . 

The glory of the land, 
With half a dozen monarchs 

Contending for my hand, 
Which I should scorn to give them 

Let all men understand; 

v. 
Which I should scorn to give them, 

As far too great a prize, 
Unless to some one handsome, 

And brave, and good, and wise, 
Who loved me more than kingdoms, 

For the twinkle of mine eyes. 

VI. 

I wish I were an Empress, 
My crown upon my head ; 

I'd feed the poor man's orphans 
Who lack'd their daily bread, 

And give each maid a dowry, 
Who needed one to wed. 

VII. 

I wish I were an Empress 
Alas, my cruel fate ! 



I'm nothing but a pretty girl, 
And toil both hard and late, 

And waste my youth in sighing 
Too poor to find a mate ! 

PART II. THE EMPRESS. 
I. 

SCANT and frosty is my hair, 

Age and care 

Clog my pulses, thin my blood, 
I would give my royal crown, 

Gem-bestud, 

Purple robes and ermine-down, 
For the tresses rich and brown 

Of a clown : 

I would yield up gold and pearl, 
For the bright eyes of a girl ; 
Prosperous counties all my wealth, 
For a country maiden's health ; 

Duchies wide 

All my pride 
All my armies all my ships, 
For the blood of youtnful Hps. 

ii. 
At my palace-window oft 

Up aloft, 

Looking down the crowded street, 
I behold the maidens go, 

Brisk of feet, 

To the market or the show, 
Laughing, tripping to and fro 

In a row ; 

And could hate them Avoe is me, 
For their light limbs moving free, 
For their brisk elastic tread, 
For their cheeks like cherries red, 

For their hair 

Flowing fair ! 

Oh ! the May-time I have lost ; 
Oh ! the nipping of the Frost ! 



SUPPOSITIONS. 

THAT Earth's no Paradise 
We know as well as you, 
What then? you dark dull soul ! 
Suppose in the deep blue sky 
There never was seen a star, 
Suppose the bounteous Earth 
No more brought forth a flower, 
And trees were barren sticks 



378 



UNDER GREEN LEAVES. 



Like you, my worthy friend ! 
And never put out a leaf 
To wave in the summer wind; 
And suppose the free fresh air 
Were stagnant as a pool ; 
'Tis possible you might live 
But where would be the charm 
Of the garden and the fields 
And the beauty of the sky ? 

And, coming to nearer things, 
Suppose there were no grass 
To cover the naked clay ; 
Suppose the birds were mute, 
And nightingales and larks 
Were dumb as perch or trout ; 
And suppose there were no dogs 
To look m the face of man, 
Confiding and beloved ; 
No horses and no kiue 
To minister to his use 1 
You could live 'twere vain to doubt 
Like the oyster on the bank, 
And prize your grovelling life 
And cling to it, if Death 
Untimely summon'd you 
To quit its stagnant shore ; 
But many a true delight, 
And many an innocent charm, 
And many a thing of joy 
Would leave the world less fair 
To men of finer mould, 
Though fit enough for you. 

Go away, grumbler ! go ! 
And ere you talk again 
Of the utter misery 
And darkness of the world, 
Be grateful for the flowers. 
And if your purblind eyes, 
My most respectable friend ! 
Can dare to look so high, 
Be thankful for the stars. 



THE COBBLER, 

Ben Arthur, or the Cobbler, rises in 'great 
majesty and grandeur at the head of Loch 
Long to the height of 2400 feet his fantastic 
peak cracked and shattered into every con- 
ceivable form. From one point it resembles 
the figure of a cobbler. Hence the popular 
name of the mountain. Tourists' Guide. 



FAR away ! up, in his rocky throne, 
The gaunt old Cobbler dwells alone, 



Around his head the lightnings play, 
Where he sits with his lapstone, night 

and day ; 
No one seeth his jerking awl, 
No one heareth his hammer fall ; 
But what he doth when mists enwrap 
The bald and barren mountain-top, 
And cover him up from the sight of man, 
No one knoweth or ever can. 

ii. 

Oft in the night, when storms are loud, 
He thunders from the drifting cloud. 
And sends his voice o'er sea and lake 
To bid his brother Bens awake ; 
And Lomond, Lawers. and Venue, 
Answer him back with wild halloo ; 
And Cruachan shouts from his splinter'd 

peaks, 
And the straths respond when the 

monarch speaks ; 
And hill with hill, and Ben with Ben, 
Talks wisdom meaningless to men. 

in. 

And oft he sings, this Cobbler old, 
And his voice rings loud from his sum- 
mits cold, 
And the north wind helps him with 

organ-swell, 
And the rush of streams as they leap 

the fell. 

But none interprets right or wrong 
The pith and burden of his song, 
Save one, a weird and crazy wight, 
Oppress'd with the gift of the Second 

Sight, 

Who tells the shepherds of Glencroe 
What the Cobbler thinks of our world 
below. 



* Cobble ? ' he saith, ' we cobble all, 
Wise and simple, great and small. 
The king, from under his golden crown, 
Over Ms troubled realm looks down, 
For the state machine is out of gear, 
And grates and creaks on the people's 

ear: 

" Cobble it up ! " he cries, forlorn, 
" To last us till to-morrow morn ; 
'Twill serve my time if that be done 
Cobble and patch and let it ran ! " 



THE COBBLER. 



379 



v. 

'And statesmen look the cold and 

proud 
On the sweating, moiling, groaning 

crowd, 

And hear the murmur, hoarse and deep, 
Of the discontent that will not sleep ; 
And half reluctant, half afraid, 
To touch the ills themselves have made, 
They take the bristle and awl in hand, 
And cobble, cobble, through the land. 
" Strike your hammers, wax yourthunibs, 
After us the deluge comes ! " 

VI. 

' The sage puts out his sleepy head, 
From the hole in the wall where he was 

bred, 
And looks at 'the world, that seems to 

him 

To be going wrong in the f oglight dim. 
" A shoe ! " quoth he, " an ancient shoe, 
Letting the mire and the water through. 
/ can mend it, I opine, 
I've the leather, the wax, the twine ; 
I'm the man for the public weal, 
Patch and cobble it, toe and heel ! " 

VII. 

From ancient days till Time's last hour 
Your cobblers have been men of power. 
Your Alexander, who was he ? 
As great a cobbler as could be ! 
And who your kings of later birth, 
The lords and demi-gods of earth 1 
Your Tamerlanes. and Ghengis-Khans, 
Your Peters, Pauls, and Suleimans ? 
And great Napoleons, red with gore ? 
Cobblers ! cobblers ! nothing more ! 

VIII. 

' And from the very dawn of time, 
In every country, age, and clime, 



Who were the Solons, Zenos, Dracos 1 
Who the Stagyrites and Platos ] 
Who the stoics and the schoolmen, 
Hammering words with Irutumfulmen? 
Who the metaphysic spouters, 
Dark expounders, drifting doubters ? 
Great and little sane ones, mad 

ones ? 
Cobblers all ! and very bad ones ! 

IX. 

' And ye who seek to loose and bind, 
Ye great reformers of mankind, 
Who think the soul a mere machine, 
That you can trim, and oil, and clean, 
And all men's passions broad as day 
But dust that you can brush away ; 
Who think you've all the skill and 

leather 

To put a proper shoe together : 
You're only cobblers like the rest, 
Bungling cobblers at the best.' 



x. 

Sitting above the mountain-springs, 
; Tis thus the ancient Cobbler sings 
You may hear his voice in the winter 

storm 
Ring through the mist that keeps him 

warm, 
When he catches the clouds, you may 

hear the strain, 
As they break from his hoary head in 

rain. 

And when the summer thunders jar 
There comes loud chorus from afar : 
' All are cobblers high or low, 
' Quoth the Cobbler of Glencroe.' 



Arroquhar, Argyle&hire, 
August, 1856. 



380 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



TELL ME NO MORE. 

TELL me no more amid these silent mountains, 
Beneath these green leaves, musical with song, 

LulPd by the whisper of these upland fountains, 
The old unvarying tale of guilt and wrong. 

Leave me alone one day, with Nature's beauty, 
One day one night an alien to my care : 

The needful rest will nerve my soul to duty, 
And give me strength to straggle and to bear. 

If it be true that Love is bora to Sorrow, 
That Hope deceives, and Friendship fades away,- 

Let the sad wisdom slumber till to-morrow, 
Nor stand between me and this summer-day. 

If I am free to dive in Truth's deep ocean, 

I will be free to linger on the shore, 
To watch the billows in their wild commotion, 

And hear far off their melancholy roar. 

Pearls for the diver battling with the billow ! 

Pearls for his mournful pomp, and lonely pride !-^ 
For me, this day, my harp upon the willow, 

And flowers fresh-gather'd by the water's side. 



GIDEON GRAY. 



GIDEON GRAY poor Gideon Gray ! 

He lies in the meadow grass, 
And all day long looks up at the clouds, 

And watches them as they pass, 
He smiles to them, sings to them, shout- 
ing aloud 

If the little clouds lag behind ; 
And waves his arms as the oak-tree 
waves 

Its boughs to the summer Avind. 
And what doth he think ? what doth he 
see 

In the darkness and the shade 1 
His soul is in the outer-dark, 

None knows but the God who made. 

ii. 
Gideon Gray poor Gideon Gray ! 

He sits by the wintry fire, 
A.nd watches the live coals in the grate 

With eyes that never tire, 



He sings a song to the chirruping 
flames, 

And balances to and fro 
All day long, like the tick o' the clock, 

While the pine-log embers glow. 
There is no meaning in his mirth, 

His tenantless eyes express 
Nothing but ignorance of pain, 

And a stone-like happiness. 

in. 
Gideon Gray poor Gideon Gray ! 

No' misery touches him ; 
He hath no care ; the shadow of grief 

Were light to a soul so dim. 
Oh ! give us grief, 'tis better than this ; 

Sorrow on Sorrow's head 
Ten times piled, were a lighter load 

Than a happiness so dread. 
Come, Sorrow, come ! we'll bare our 
breasts 

To meet thy heaviest blow, 
Resigned if Reason keep her seat 

To guide us as we go. 



THE VOLUNTARY. 



381 



THE MOUNTAIN TORRENT. 



FAIR Streamlet, running where violets 

grow, 

Under the elm-trees, murmuring low ; 
Rippling gently amid the grass ; 
I have a fancy, as I pass : 
I have a fancy as I see 
The trailing willows kissing thee ; 
As I behold the daisies pied, 
The harebells nodding at thy side ; 
The sheep that feed upon thy brink, 
The birds that stoop to thy wave to 

drink ; 

Thy blooms that tempt the bees to stray, 
And all the life that tracks thy way. 

ii. 

I deem thou flowest through grassy 

meads, 

To show the beauty of gentle deeds ; 
To show how happy the world might be, 
If men, observant, copied thee : 
To show how small a stream may pour 
Verdure and beauty on either shore ; 
To teach what humble men might do, 
If their lives were pure, and their hearts 

were true ; 

And what a wealth they might dispense, 
In modest, calm beneficence ; 



Marking their course, as thou dost thine, 
By way-side flowers of love divine. 

in. 

And, Streamlet, rushing, with foam and 

spray, 

Over the boulders in thy way ; 
Leaping and rolling from rock to cave, 
A vast impetuous onward wave : 
I have a fancy as I mark 
Thy fall o'er the precipices dark ; 
As I behold thy power reveal'd, 
And hear thy voice, like thunder peal'd; 
I have a fancy as I sit 
Under the rocks where thy rainbows flit, 
And listen to thy roar and swell, 
Sonorous, irresistible. 

IV. 

I deem thou leapest adown the rocks, 
To show how little are Fortune's shocks 
To him reliant, who knows his strength, 
And measures evil breadth and length: 
I deem thou flowest to teach us still. 
That perseverance conquers ill ; 
That no obstruction, small or great, 
Can daunt the soul that dares its fate ; 
That calm, true hearts in peril's hour 
Confront it with superior power. 
Here at thy side I sit and dream 
These fancies twain, sweet Mountain 
Stream. 



THE VOLUNTARY. 

THE low, soft notes 
Trickled upon each other like the drip 
Of rain in summer upon trees and flowers, 
And lo ! I wander'd knee-deep in the grass, 
Through the green meadows prankt with buttercups, 
Valerian, daisies, and wild hyacinths. 
I heard the rippling murmur of a brook, 
Whose limpid waters sparkled to the sun ; 
Upon its brink a troop of children sat, 
Fair boys with chubby cheeks and laughing eyes, 
And girls with ringlets waving to the wind ; 
They braided garlands of the meadow flowers, 
And tied them up with rushes. I could hear 
Their joyous laughter and their artless talk, 
The song of blackbirds in the neighbouring copse, 



UNDER GEE EN LEA YES. 

The trumpet of the gnat, the bee's loud horn, 
And click of grasshoppers, like meeting spears. 

Anon the organ pour'd a deeper strain, 
And carried me away far, far away 
From the green meadows, miles and miles adown 
A lengthening river, widening evermore. 
I saw the towns and cities on its banks, 
I heard the pealing of the holiday bells, 
And roar of people in the market-place. 
The flapping of the sails of merchant ships 
Laden with corn, that with each flowing tide 
Came upward to the towns ; I heard the creak 
Of chains and dropping anchors in the ports, 
And chorus, at the capstan, of the crews, 
As round and round they trod with measured steps, 
And all the bustle of their active life. 

And still away away hi floods of sound, 
Th' unseen musician, sitting at his keys, 
Transported me, a willing auditor. 
Where'er his fancy would. The deep, full tones 
Grew deeper, fuller, louder, more sublime, 
Until the waves of music swoll to seas, 
Whose angry billows, white with crests of foam, 
Rush'd in impetuous thunder on the land. 
The Moon withdrew her splendour from the clouds, 
And hid herself in darkness ; the wind rose, 
And roafd in chorus with th' exulting Sea, 
Who answer'd it with thunders of her own. 
Bain, hail, and sleet, and avalanche of spray 
Broke in succession ; wind, and sea, and sky, 
Octave on octave burst in worlds of sound, 
The mighty discords clashing evermore, 
Only to melt and fuse in harmonies. 

Anon the lightning flash'd upon the dark, 
And thunders rattled o'er the cloudy vault, 
As if the chariots of the heavenly host 
Drove to the judgment-seat, and Earth's last day 
Were sounded by the trumpets of the spheres. 
The echoes roll'a through the cathedral aisles, 
And died hi silence. Lo ! the round, full moon 
Peer'd from the bosom of a rifted cloud ; 
The wind sank low the raging seas grew calm 
While loud, clear voices, from the uuper air, 
Sang in sweet harmonies, * The Lord is great, 
His loving-kindness lasts for evermore/ 



FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY. 



383 



MEOPS. 



MEOPS lived ; a mighty man ; 

Had two castles by the sea, 
Parks m half a dozen shires, 

Hill and hollow, croft and lea, 
Horses, hounds, and fallow deer, 
Fifty thousand pounds a year, 

Lands in mortgage and in fee ; 
Splendid Meops ! Envy's mark ! 
Taper shining through the dark ! 

Mighty man was he ! 



ii. 



Meops died the great and high, 

Left his castles by the sea ; 
Left his horses, hounds, and hawks, 

Lands in mortgage and in fee ; 
Left his flatterers, jesters, fools, 
Toadies, parasites, and tools ; 

Left his wife and children three : 
But when mighty Meops died, 
Not one living creature sigh'd ; 

Little man was he ! 



BEAUTY AND LOVE. 

BEAUTY and Love, and are they not the same ? 
The one is both and both are but the one 
Pervasive they of all around the sun ; 

Of one same essence, differing but in name. 

Lo ! when pure Love lights his immortal flame, 
He and all Earth and Heaven in Beauty shine ; 
And when true Beauty shows her face divine, 

Love permeates the universal frame. 

Holy of holies mystery sublime ! 
Who truly loves is beautiful to see, 
And scatters Beauty wheresoe'er he goes. 

They fill all space they move the wheels of Time 
And evermore from their dread Unity, 
Through all the firmaments, Life's ocean flows. 



FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY. 

ON Mamre's plain, beside the Patriarch's door, 

The ministering Angels sat the world was young, 

And men beheld what they behold no more. 

Ah no ! The harps of Heaven are not unstrung ! 

The angelic visitants may yet appear 

To those who seek them ! Lo ! at Virtue's side, 

Its friend, its prop, its solace, and its guide, 

Walks FAITH, with upturned eyes and voice of cheer, 

A visible Angel. Lo, at Sorrow's call, 

HOPE hastens down, an angel fair and kind, 

And whispers comfort whatsoe'er befall ; 

While CHARITY, the seraph of the mind, 

White-robed and pure, becomes each good man's guest, 

And makes this Earth a Heaven to all who love her best. 



384 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



IN GOD'S ACRE. 

'TWAS on a Morn of Summer 

In the kirkyard lone, 
An old man, hoary-headed, 

Sat upon a stone, 
And thought of days departed, 

And griefs that lie had known. 

His long white hair was wafted 
On the wandering breeze ; 

A bonnie little maiden 
Frolick'd at his knees, 

And twined fair flowers with rushes, 
Gather'd in the leas. 

Over her pleasant labour 
She croon'd her infant gong : 

I said with self-communing, 
* Death shall not tarry long, 

For the old old fruit hath ripeu'd, 
And the young fruit groweth strong/ 

Alas ! for the To-morrow, 
That recks not of To-day ! 

Fate, like a serpent crawling, 
Unnoticed, on its prey, 

Came as a burning fever, 
And snatch'd the child away. 

Death ! why so harsh and cruel, 

To take the infant mild. 
Home to its God and Fatner, 

All pure and undefiled ; 
And leave the old man hoary 

Weeping for the child ? 

4 Whom the gods love die early.' 
Our Father knoweth best ! 

And we are wrong to censure, 
The supreme behest : 

Sleep softly ! bonuie blossom, 
On Fate's auspicious breast. 

We need the consolation, 

Whether we live or die : 
Were Death no benefactor, 

Laden with blessings high ; 
Sad. sad were we survivors, 

Under the awful sky ! 



AN ACORN. 

WITHIN this little shell doth lie 
A wonder of the earth and sky ; 
Grasp'd in the hollow of my hand, 
But more than I can understand. 

A germ, a life, a million lives. 
If this small life but lives and thrives, 
And draws from earth, and air, and sun, 
The endings in this husk begun. 

A few years hence, a noble tree, 
If time and circumstance agree : 
'Twill shelter in the noonday shade 
The browsing cattle of the glade. 

'Twill harbour in its arching boughs 
The ringdove and its tender spouse, 
The bright-eyed squirrel, acorn fed, 
The dormouse in its wintry bed. 

Its stalwart arms and giant girth, 
Fell'd by the woodman s stroke to earth, 
May build for kings their regal thrones, 
Or coffins to enclose their bones. 

And looking further down the groove, 
Where Time's great wheels for ever move, 
We may behold, all sprung from this, 
A woodland in the wilderness. 

A forest fill'd with statelv trees, 
To rustle in the summer breeze, 
Or moan with melancholy song, 
When wintry winds blow loud and strong. 

And ; would the hope might be fulfiU'd! 
A forest large enougn to build, 
When war's last shatter'd flag is furl'd, 
The peaceful navies of the world. 

Such possibilities there lie 
In this young nursling of the sky ! 
We know ; but cannot understand ; 
Acorns ourselves in God's right hand ! 



THE REWARDS OF SONG. 



I HAVE a little, soft and plaintive, 
Mellow, murmuring lute, 

To which I oft attune niy voice 
When Earth and Air are mute, 



MIST. 



385 



And though the plodding, busy world 
Cares not to hear the strain, 

I make my music to myself 
A solace to my pain. 

ii. 

I reck not though none hear me, 

More than the nightingale, 
Or lark beneath the morning cloud, 

High poised above the vale ; 
These seek not men's approval, 

But sing for love of song, 
As I do in the wilderness 

When summer days grow long. 

in. 
Perchance a passing stranger, 

That loiters on his way, 
May hear the distant echoes 

Of my rejoicing lay ; 
And bless the unseen singer, 

Embower 5 d amid the copse, 



Or soaring, singing, soaring 
Above the mountain-tops ! 

IV. 

Perhaps who knows ? a mourner 

For present grief, or past, 
May hear my hopeful music 

Upon the wild Avinds cast, 
And so take heart and courage 

To wander less forlorn, 
And turn from evening shadows 

To sunlight of the morn. 

v. 
The stars rejoice in shining, 

And I rejoice to sing, 
For sake of love, for sake of song, 

And not for pelf 'twill bring. 
Despise me, if it please you, 

Ye traders of the mart ! 
Not all your gold could purchase 

The freshness of my heart ! 



MIST. 

ONE day I walk'd through mist and haze of cloud ; 

I could not see the sunshine in the sky ; 
I heard a mountain torrent pealing loud, 

But could not see it, though I knew 'twas nigh ; 
I wauder'd on the sullen ocean-shore, 

But could not see the wrinkles on its face, 
And only knew 'twas ocean by its roar, 

So dense the vapour lay on all the place. 
Heavily on hill and plain 
Hung moisture, neither dew nor rain ; 
The birds were silent in the darkling bowers, 
And not a shadow fell to mark the hours : 
Ghost-like paced about the men, 

Through ghostly alleys, speaking low ; 
And every object on my ken 

Was vague, and colourless, and slow. 
I ask'd a native what the land might be. 
* The land,' he said, ' of heavenly Poesy.' 
1 And who are these that wander up and down ? ' 
1 Poets,' he said, * of great and high renown/ 
' And art thou of them "? ' * No not so,' he sigh'd ; 
1 I'm but a critic.' ' Tell me,' I replied, 
' What kind of poesy these poets make. 

If they be makers, as true poets are 

25 



386 UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 

And whether from the clouds their hue they take, 
And sing without the light of sun or star.' 

' We want no sunshine here/ the critic said, 

' Nor wholesome light, nor shape too well defined ; 
There needs no radiance for the drowsy head, 

Nor vulgar common sense for sleepy mind. 
Our nerves are very finely strung, 

And much emotion would destroy them quite ; 
And if a meaning start to page or toDgue 

Of our great poets, when they speak or write, 
They swathe and swaddle it in pompous rhyme, 

And darken counsel with vain words ; 
And girls, green-sickly, children of the clime, 

Proclaim it lovely as the chant of birds, 
And write it in their albums, or rehearse, 

With lisping chatter, the delightful verse. 
Sickly sickly are our bards ; 

The rose-tree gall is surely fair, 
Ay. fairer to our faint and aim regards 

Than healthy roses flaunting in the air. 
Most lovely is our daily languishment, 

Our sweet half-consciousness, our listless ease, 
Our inchoate discourse magniloquent, 

Through which we see tne surging mysteries 
Of Time and Life, Eternity and Death ; 

Or think we see them ; is it not the same < 
Death is a mist, and Life is but a breath, 

And Love a cloudy, ever-flickering flame.' 

'Then/ I rejoin'd, 'the poets of this land, 
Misty and mystic, hard to understand, 
Do not desire, like Shakspeare of old days, 
To reach the popular heart through open ways ; 
To speak for all men ; to be wise and true, 
Bright as the noon- time, clear as morning dew, 
And wholesome in the spirit and the form ? ' 

' Shakspeare ! ' he answerM, * may his name endure ! 
But what is he to us I Our veins are warm 

With other blood than his, perchance as pure. 
Each for his time ! our time is one of mist, 
And we are misty, love us those who list.' 
He said, and disappear' d ; and I took ship, 

And left that cloudy land ; and sailing forth, 
I felt the free breeze sporting at my lip, 

And saw the Pole-star in the clear blue North, 
And all the pomp of Heaven. Right glad was I, 
Bareheaded to the glory of the sky. 



THE DANCE OF THE TREES. 



387 



THE DANCE OF THE TREES. 

A MIDSUMMER FANCY. 
I. 

IF you could dance when Orpheus piped, 

Ye oaks, and elms, and beeches, 
Try, when a man of modern time 

Your courtesy beseeches. 
'Twas but his fancy ! Well, 'tis mine, 

So do your best endeavour : 
The facts of History pass away, 

The thoughts may live for ever. 

ii. 
My friend the merchant of Cornhill, 

Awake to nought but scheming, i 
And he who plods in Fig-tree Court, 
Will call this idle dreaming. 
But ye shall dance, ye joyous trees, 

Though they may scoff or pity ; 
And measure, in their self-conceit, 

Arcadia by the City. 

in. 
Come, Father Oak, so old and staid, 

But rigorous and hearty, 
Shake off the soberness of years, 

And join the merry party. 
'Tis not becoming ! Harmless mirth 

Takes no account of ages, 
So, Monarch of the Woods, unbend, 

And frolic with your pages ! 

IV. 

And thou, superbest matron Beech, 

In all tny bloom of beauty, 
Relax ; and learn that, now and then, 

Enjoyment is a duty. 
And Lady Lime, the honey sweet, 

With music in thy tresses, 
Step out, the wild winds pipe the tune, 

And every moment presses. 

v. 

Ye damsel Birches, slim and fair, 

And capersome as misses 
Who've just come home from boarding- 
school, 

And dream of love and kisses, 
I know you're ready : come away, 

With silver-braided kyrtles, 
And taper limbs, and flowing hair, 

And breath as sweet as myrtles. 



VI. 

Ye Firs and Larches, rough as lads 

Let loose from school or College ; 
Ye Poplars, stiff as men on 'Change, 

Forget your cram of knowledge. 
You're no such beauties of yourselves, 

But every tree an aid is, 
And you'll improve in elegance, 

By contact with the ladies. 

VII. 

Ye steadfast Elms, our English trees, 

The charm of rural alleys, 
The grace of parks and village-greens, 

And darlings of our valleys : 
Come forth, with robes of flowing green, 

The ivy for your flounces, 
The dance will languish in the dale, 

If one of you renounces. 

VIII. 

And you, like melancholy maids 

Who sigh on lonelv pillows, 
Or. widows, ere theyVe cast their 
weeds, 

Ye fond, romantic Willows, 
Come from your looking-glass, the 
stream, 

And cease to play at Sorrow, 
And taste a little Joy to-day, 

To think about to-morrow. 

IX. 

And thou, dear Hawthorn, sweetest 
sweet, 

The beautiful, the tender, 
Bright with the fondling of the sun, 

And prankt in bridal splendour, 
Come with thy sisters, full of bloom, 

And all thy bridemaids merry, 
Acacia, Chestnut, Lilac fail-, 

The Apple, and the Cherry.*: 

x. 

Strike up the music ! Lo ! it sounds ! 

The expectant woodlands listen ; 
They wave their branches to the sky, 

And all their dew-drops glisten. 
There comes a rustling from the heights," 

A buzzing from the hollow, 
They move, the ancient Oaks and Elms, 

And all the juniors follow. 



388 



UNDER GREEN LEA YES. 



XI. 

They move, they start, they thrill, they 

dance, 

They shake their boughs with plea- 
sure, 
And flutter all their gay green leaves, 

Obedient to the measure. 
They choose their partners: Oak and 

Beech 

Pair off, a stately couple ; 
And Larch to Willow makes his bow, 
Th' unbending to the supple. 

XII. 

The Hawthorn, charm of every eye, 

In Beauty's ranks a leader, 
Has choice of many for her hand, 

But gives it to the Cedar. 
She loves the wisdom of his looks, 

And name renown'd in story ; 
And he, th' effulgence of her eyes, 

And fragrance of her glory. 

XIII. 

The Poplar, very gaunt and tall, 

Says to the Ash : * May / press 
Thy fairy figure in the waltz / 

If not, I'll ask the Cypress/ 
And Ash consents, but thinks her beau 

Has nothing that entices ; 
He looks so like a serving-man, 

To hand about the ices. 

XIV. 

The Elms and Lindens choose their 
mates, 

And e'en the sturdy Holly ; 
And all the Brambles and the Feins 

Think standing still is folly, 
And foot it briskly on the sward, 

As wild as lads and lasses, 
But make sad havoc, as they twirl, 

With all the flowers and grasses. 
xv. 

Come here, thou man of Lloyd's and 
'Change, 

Come here, thou grave decider, 
Who splittest straws in Fig-tree Court, 

Come here, thou money'd spider, 
Who lendest cash at cent, per cent, 

And see our woodland pastime ! 
If once you see it, I'll be sworn 
- It will not be the last time. 



XVI. 

You cannot see it ? Never will, 

'Twas waste of breath to ask you : 
To look an inch before your nose, 

Would sorely be to task you. 
Come thou, sweet Lady of my heart ! 

My other self, and dearest : 
If there be music in the woods, 

Come, tell me if thou nearest. 

XVII. 

If there be spirits in the trees, 

Thine eyes, with inward lustre 
Caught from the fountains of thy soul, 

Will see them as they cluster. 
Thou hearest seest ! Oh ! my love, 

Thy sympathy enhances 
All joys I feel, and turns to truths 

My shadows of romances ! 

XVIII. 

Take root again, ye docile Trees, 

No longer leap and jostle ; 
There's other music in the boughs, 

The Cuckoo and the Throstle. 
The breeze has dropp'd, the air is still, 

The long grass sleeps in quiet ; 
And dancing, in an hour so calm, 

Seems weariness and riot. 

XIX. 

Besides, the fitful mood has changed, 

Gone back to times Elysian, 
When those who sat beneath the trees 

Could see a brighter vision. 
We'll see it too. Come, potent Witch, 

And do as thou art bidden ! 
Come, Fancy! touch those wrinkled 
barks, 

And show what they have hidden ! 
xx. 

The west wind roaming through the 
woods. 

With briery odours laden, 
Breathes gently, as from every tree 

Out steps a spirit maiden, 
Th' immortal Dryads, old as Greece, 

But youthful as this minute, 
And lovely as the loveliest thing 

That moves and sparkles in it ! 

XXI. 

Barefooted, in their robes of green, 
Blue-eyed, with tresses golden, 



ANGLIXG. 



389 



By none but those whom Fancy loves, 
In all their pomp beholden ; 

We see them on the sunny slope, 
And, credulous as childhood, 

Love, for their sakes, each teeming tree 
That blossoms in the wild wood. 

XXII. 

Oh ! richer far, than he who owns 

This forest, root and branches^ 
And calculates how much 'twill yield 

For houses and ship-launches, 
Whose trees are timber, nothing more, 

We own, if we enjoy it ; 
And this great property of ours, 

We dare him to destroy it. 

xxni. 

Ours is the forest ours the laud 

And ours the great sky-ocean, 
Through wlu'ch their ships can never 
sail, 

Whose pelf is their devotion. 
Leave us our dreams, ye men of facts, 

Who shake your heads profoundly, 
And tell us if ye're half as glad, 

Or if ye sleep as soundly ! 



CRACKLETHORN. 

' For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, 
BO is the laughter of the fool: this also is 
vanity.' Ecclesiastes. 

THROUGH a great and a mighty city 

I roam'd like one forlorn ; 
Through the city, amid the people, 

In the land of Cracklethorn. 
I heard the sorry jesters, 

The dismal songs they sang, 
The crack of their witless laughter, 

Their loud incessant slang. 
At the holiest and the highest 

They launch'd the wordy dart ; 
They sneer 1 d at manly honour, 

Tney scoff'd at woman's heart. 
They gibed and mock'd at Virtue, 

They ridiculed the truth, 
Till their old men grinn'd like monkeys, 

And a blight came o'er their youth'. 
To be great, or wise, or lofty, 

Was to earn their giggling scorn, 



' Come plague, and famine, or fire from 

Heaven,' 

I said, like one forlorn, 
'Come plague, and famine, and fire 

from Heaven, 
And fall on Cracklethorn ! ' 



ANGLING. 

FLOW, river, flow ! 

Where the alders grow, 

Where the mosses rest 

On the bank's high breast : 

Flow on, and make sweet music ever, 

Thou joyous and beloved river. 

Such peace upon the landscape broods, 

There is such beauty in the woods ; 

Such notes of joy come from the copse, 

And from the swinging oak-tree tops ; 

There are such sounds of life, and plea- 
sure 
Abroad upon the breeze, 

And on the river rippling at sweet 

leisure, 
Beneath its banks of fringing trees, 

That to my mind a thought of death 
or pain 

Seems a discordant note in heavenly 
strain. 

Death is the rule of life : the hawk in 
air 

Pursues the swallow for his daily fare ; 

The blackbird and the linnet rove 

On a death-errand through the grove ; 

The happy slug and glow-worm pale, 

Must die to feed the nightingale ; 

The mighty lion hunts his destined 
prey; 

And the small insect, fluttering on our 
way, 

Devours the tinier tribes that live un- 
seen 

In shady nooks and populous forests 
green ; 

The hungry fish, in seas and rivers, 

Are death-receivers and death-givers ; 

And animalcule conceal'd from sight, 

In littleness sublime and infinite, 

That whirl in drops of water from the 
fen, 

Creatures as quarrelsome as men, 



390 



UNDER GREEN LEA YES. 



Or float in air upon invisible wings, 
Devour the countless hosts of smaller 

things. 

But simple is the law which they obey 
They never torture when they slay, 
Unconquerable need, the law of life, 
Impels the fiercest to the fatal strife : 
They feel no joy in stopping meaner 

breath, 
; Tis man alone that makes a sport of 

death. 

So. gentle river, flow, 
Wnere the green alders grow, 
Where the pine-tree rears its crest, 
And the stock-dove builds her nest, 
Where the wild-flower odours float, 
And the lark with gushing throat 
Pours out her rapturous strains 
To all the hills and plains ; 



And if, amid the stream, 
The lurking angler dream 
Of hooking fishes with his treacherous 

flies, 

Reflect, river, the unclouded skies, 
And bear no windy ripple on thy 

breast, 

The cloud and ripple he loves best, 
So that the innocent fish may see, 
And shun their biped enemy. 

Flow, river, flow, 

Where the violets grow, 

Where the bank is steep, 

And the mosses sleep, 

And the green trees nod to thy waves 

below : 

Flow on and make sweet music ever, 
Thou joyous and beloved river ! 



JOAN OF ARC. 

Tn' old Norman city, with its towers and spires 

And gorgeous architecture, was to me 

The snrine of one great name ; where'er I went 

That memory follow'd me. From church to clmrcli, 

From the cathedral where King Richard sleeps, 

To St Ouen and beautiful Maclou 

From bridge to market-place, and justice-hall 

A mighty spirit kept me company. 

Through quaint ola streets, whose every window 

Old as the days when haughty Bedford held 

His martial court in Rouen, wandered I ; 

And still thy memory, hapless Joan of Arc, 

Wander'd beside me. 'Here,' I said, 'poor maid, 

Thou wert led captive, after saving France ! 

Here thou wert gibed and scora'd by brutal men. 

Here, from their windows, peep'd the gaping crowd, 

To see thee made a shameful spectacle. 

Here Superstition, pandering to Revenge, 

Accused thee of all vile and senseless crimes. 

Here, at their harsh tribunal, thy good deeds 

Were each interpreted in evil sense ; 

Thy love of country in their eyes became 

Treason most foul ; thy corn-age, lunacy ; 

Thy fortune, witchcraft ; thy young purity, 

An outward mask to hide the shame within. 

And here, unhappy saviour of a realm, 



STORM APPROACHING. 



391 



Tlr ungenerous foemen, smitten by the steel 

Of warriors roused to battle by thy voice, 

Sated unmanly vengeance on thy head, 

And slew, by cruel fire and torturing pangs, 

The helpless woman they could not subdue. 

Rouen is sacred to thy memory ; 

The ancient city is thy monument ; 

There's not a spire or tower within its bound, 

But pleads for justice to thy slander'd name. 

Thou hast it, Spirit ! Compensating Time 

Has done thee justice, as it does to all, 

However hated, injured, or malign'd. 

The truly great and good have constant Mends ; 

The rolling centuries, in their behalf, 

Sue for reversal of th' unjust decree 

That doom'd their names to infamy and scorn. 

They never sue in vain ; and thine, sad maid ! 

Shines like a gem upon the brow of France 

A pearl of beauty on her queenly crown ! 



Rouen, 184T. 



STORM APPROACHING. 



WE live in a time of sorrow, 

A time of doubt and storm, 
When the thunder-clouds hang heavy, 

And the air is thick and warm ; 
When the f ar-off lightnings gather 

On the verge of the darkening sky, 
And the birds of the air, fear-stricken, 

To nest and cover fly : 
Look up ! ye drowsy people, 

There's desolation nigh. 

H. 
Look up ! ye drowsy people, 

And shield yourselves in time, 
From the wrath and retribution 

That track the heels of crime ; 
That lie in wait for the folly 

Of the lordly and the strong ; 
That spare nor high nor lowly 

From vengeance threaten'd long, 
But strike at the heart of nations, 

And kings who govern wrong. 

in. 
Kneel down in the dust and ashes ! 

Kneel down, ye high and great, 
Who call yourselves the bulwarks 

And fathers of the State, 



And clear your sleepy vision 
From selfishness and scorn, 

And mingle with the people, 
To learn what they have borne, 

Their suffering and their sadness, 
Toiling forlorn, forlorn ! 

IV. 

Kneel down in the dust and sackcloth, 

And own, with contrite tears, 
Your arrogant self -worship, 

And wrongs of many years ; 
Your luxuries hard-hearted ; 

Your pride so barren-cold. 
Remote from the warmth of pity 

For men of the self-same mould, 
As good as yourselves, or better, 

In all but the shiny gold. 

v. 
Kneel down, ye priests and preachers, 

Ye men of lawn and stole, 
Who call yourselves physicians 

And guardians of the soul, 
And own if ye have not hated 

Your brethren, night and day, 
Because at God's high altars 

They bent another way, 
And sought not your assistance 

To worship and to pray. 



392 



VNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



VI. 

Kneel down in the dust, confessing 

Ye've preach'd the truth of God, 
When your feet were swift for malice, 

And in evil pathways trod ; 
That ye've loved the flesh, and flesh-pots, 

Above the creed you taught ; 
And, at wealth and pomp aspiring, 

Have clutch'd them, passion-fraught: 
Ye hypocrites unholy, 

Who hold religion nought ! 

VII. 

Kneel down low down ye traders, 

Ye men of mines and mills, 
With your ships on every ocean, 

And beeves on a thousand hills ; 
With factories and workshops, 

And stalls in every mart ; 
Who serve the great god Mammon 

With singleness of heart. 
And give him soul and body, 

Till soul and body part ; 

VIIL 
Who talk of your faith and credit, 

And honour clear of stain ; 
And own if ye have not cheated 

And lied for the sake of gain ; 
If ye have not done, in secret, 

Worse things than the wretch who 

steals 
Your 'kerchief from your pocket, 

But which no tongue reveals, 
To shame you in the market 

Where barefaced Commerce deals ! 

IX. 

Kneel down, and own, soul-humbled, 

Ye traders of the street, 
If ye have not drugg'd the potion, 

Or the bread that poor men eat ; 
If ye have not dealt false measure, 

Or ground your workmen down, 
Or crush'd their wives and daughters 

Into the hideous town : 
Then gone to Church or Chapel, 

In your drab and brown. 

x. 

And you, ye toiling millions, 
Meek herd and flock of men ! 

That swink, and sweat, and suffer, 
For three-score years and ten,- 



| Kneel down, in self-abasement, 
And ask yourselves, each one, 

If ye grow no evil passions, 
To shade you from the sun, 

Or sit in chains, lamenting, 
When ye might rise and run. 



XI. 

Ask if ye do not grovel 

To things yourselves have made, 
To the Lords of Many-Acres, 

To the Money-Grubs of Trade ; 
Ask if ye do not wallow 

Unseemly in the mire, 
With brawls and feuds unmanly, 

In the filth of low desire : 
Gin-sodden'd and degraded, 

Drinking avenging fire. 

XII. 

And ask yourselves, ye lowly 

And reverential poor. 
Who go to Church on Sundays, 

With downcast looks demure, 
If never at God's altars, 

With baseless prayers and sighs/ 
Ye have not gazed at riches 

With fierce, exulting eyes, 
And said, ' This world's rejected 

Shall grasp you in the skies.' 

XIII. 

Ask if when lordly Fortune 

Went whirling past your door, 
Ye felt not bitter envy 

Burn at your heart's deep core, 
Or whisper you to patience 

With promises of Heaven, 
Where the poor, in regal garments 

As white as snow new-driven, 
Should look from their thrones at Dives 

In hell-fire unforgiven. 

XIV. 

Ask if sincere obedience 

To God's Almighty will 
Have taught you how to suffer 

The burthen of your ill ; 
And if no sordid barter 

Of this world for the next, 
Or thought of the rich man groaning, 

At the needle's eye perplex'd, 
Inspired your resignation 

When ye heard the holy text. 



THE SILENT HILLS. 



393 



xv. 
And you, ye lords and rulers, 

And magnates of the realm, 
Who scent impending danger 

That looms to overwhelm, 
Have ye not, basely sleeping 

In apathy and rust, 
Been cowards to your duty, 

Betray'd your solemn trust, 
And given to-morrow's birthright 

For the morning's crust ? 

XVI. 

Sunk in the Sloughs of Faction, 

Obtuse, and blind, and dumb, 
Have ye not sold the safety 

Of ages yet to come, 
For triumphs over rivals 

Who sought to cast you out, 
For paltry ease and quiet, 

Or the crowd's ignoble shout ; 
Or laugh'd at degradation 

Though it hemm'd you round about 1 

XVII. 

Awake ! awake ! ye sleepers, 

There's danger over all, 
When the strong shall be sorely shaken, 

And the weak shall go to the wall ; 
When towers on the hill-top standing 

Shall topple at a word, 
And the principles of ages 

Shall be question'd with the sword, 
And the heart's blood of the nations 

Like fountains shall be pour'd. 

XVIII. 

When a fierce and a searching Spirit 

Shall stalk o'er the startled earth, 
And make great Thrones the playthings, 

Of his madness or his mirth ; 
When ancient creeds and systems, 

In the fury of his breath, 
Shall whirl like the leaves of Autumn, 

When the north wind belloweth, 
And drift away unheeded, 

To the deep, deep seas of death. 

XIX. 

The first large rain-drops patter, 
The low wind moans and sings, 

Awake, ere the tempest gather, 
Rulers, and priests, and kings ! 



Ere the thunder-clouds are open'd, 
That wall and flank the sky ; 

Ere the whirlwind leaves its caverns, 
And the shafts of vengeance fly, 

Look up ! ye drowsy people, 
There's desolation nigh ! 



THE SILENT HILLS. 

WANDERING 'mid the silent hills, 

Sitting by the lonely rills, 

And meditating as I go 

On human happiness and woe, 

Fancies strange unbidden rise 

And flit before my placid eyes : 

Dreaminesses, sometimes dim 

As is the moon's o'erclouded rim ; 

And sometimes clear as visions are 

When the sleeping soul sees deep and 

far, 

Yet cannot, when it wakes, recall, 
For the senses' and the reason's thrall. 

I love, in idle moods like these, 
To sit beneath the shade of trees 
In idle and luxurious ease ; 
Or lie amid the fern and grass, 
And talk with shepherds as they pass : 
To learn their humble hopes and fears, ] 
And the small changes of their years. 

And if no shepherd saunters by, 
I can talk with the clouds of the sky, 
And watch them from my couch of fern, 
As, Proteus-like, they change and turn, 
Now castles gray, with golden doors, 
Gem roofs, and amethystine floors ; 
Now melting into billowy flakes, 
Sky islands or aerial lakes ; 
Or mimicking the form and show 
Of the huge mountains far below. 

And sometimes vagrant, wild, and 

free 

I look upon the grass and tree, 
With an all-pervading sympathy. 
And bid them tell if life like theirs 
Is void of feeling, joys, and cares. 
And ever an answer seems to breathe 
From the branches above, and the 

sward beneath, 



394 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



And the tree says, 'Many a joy is 

mine, 
In the winter cloud, and the summer 

shine ; 
With the daily heat, and the nightly 

dew, 

My strength and pleasure I renew. 
I sleep at eve when the skies grow 

dark, 

And wake at the singing of the lark. 
And when the winter is crisp and cold, 
My life retreats beneath the mould, 
And waits in the warmth for the spring- 
time rain, 

To summon the sap to my boughs again. 
I feel like you the balmy air, 
And am grateful for a life so fair.' 
And the grass, and the fern, and the 

waving reeds, 
And the wild flowers, and the nameless 

weeds, 

Reply in a low, soft tone of song 
That creeps like an infant breeze along : 
* We live ; and every life that's given 
Receives a joy from bounteous Heaven, 
In the reproduction of its kind, 
In the warmth, and the light, and the 

dew, and the wind.' 

Deem me not idle if I stray, 
Oh ! sons of Care, for awhile away 
From the crowded marts of busy men, 
To the wild woods and the lonely glen, 
And give my thoughts a holiday. 
You cannot tell the work I do, 
When I lie dreaming beneath the blue ; 
Or how these fancies dim and strange, 
May amalgamate and change, 
Or grow like seeds in aftertime, 
To something better than my rhyme. 



THE MOCK JEWELS, 
i. 

THE Pedlar stood in the morning light, 

Fluent in speech and smooth was he, 

And spread his wares hi the public 

sight ; 

Maranatha! and woe is me! 
And he call'd to the people, surging 

along, 

Like rolling billows when seas are 
strong, 



There came a dark cloud over the sky. 
* Here are gauds for all to wear, 
For men, for youths, for maidens fair, 
The time is passing, come and buy ! ' 

Oh ! the Pedlar ! 

The knavish Pedlar ! 
The Fiend in Pedlar's guise was he ! 

Selling and buying, 

Cheating and lying : 
Maranatha! and woe is me! 

ii. 

' Here's a Trinket ! here's a gem ! 
The Queen hath nothing more fair to 

see. 
'Mid the sparkle and glow of her 

diadem ! ' 

Maranatha! and woe is me! 
1 Buy it, and wear it, maiden fine, 
Cheap love bright love love divine ! ' 
There came a dark cloud over the sky. 
The maiden bought it, and thought no 

sin; 

But she found a broken heart within, 
And the Pedlar cried, ' Come buy ! 
come buy ! ' 

Oh ! the Pedlar ! 
The knavish Pedlar ! 
The Fiend in human guise was he ! 
Selling and buying, 
Cheating and lying : 
Maranatha! and woe is me! 

in. 

'Here's a gaud for the young and 

bold- 
Made for the generous and the free, 
Redder than ruby, richer than gold 1 ' 

Maranatha ! and woe is me ! 
1 Its name is Glory ! ' A youth drew 

near, 
And bought the jewel, nor thought it 

dear; 

There came a dark cloud over tJie sky. 
For ere he'd placed it on his breast, 
He found he'd lost his Joy and Rest, 
And barter'd life for a glittering lie ! 
Oh ! the Pedlar ! 
The knavish Pedlar ! 
The Fiend in a Pedlar's guise was he, 
Selling and buying, 
Cheating and lying : 
Maranatha ! and woe is me ! 



HATE IN THE PULPIT. 



305 



IV. 

' Here's a jewel without a flaw ! 

Brighter and better none can be ; 
Win it and wear it, and give the law/ 

Maranatha ! and woe is me ! 
* And its name is Riches ! ' With roar 

and shout 

The people jostled and swarm'd about ; 
There came a dark cloud over the sky; 
They bougni the gem of worldly wealth, 
And paid with Conscience and their 

Health, 

While the Pedlar cried / Come buy ! 
come buy ! ' 

Oh ! the Pedlar ! 
The knavish Pedlar ! 
The Fiend in a Pedlar's guise was he ! 
Selling and buying, 
Cheating and lying : 
Maranatha I and woe is me ! 



v. 

In churchyards lone, in the wintry night, 

The ghastly Pedlar dim to see, 
Takes his stand on the gravestones 

white : 

Maranatha / and woe is me ! 
And summons the ghosts from sod and 

tomb. 
And chuckles and grins in the midnight 

gloom ; 

Dark are the clouds upon the sky ; 
And sells them again his shadowy wares, 
Loves, Fames, Riches, and Despairs, 
* Jewels jewels come and buy !' 
Oh ! the Pedlar ! 
The mocking Pedlar ! 
The Devil in Pedlar's guise is he ; 
Selling and buying, 
Cheating and lying : 
Maranatha I and woe is me I 



HATE IN THE PULPIT. 

A THUNDERER in the pulpit ? let us hear ! 
He cries with voice of stentor, loud and clear, 
That God desires no music in His praise 
But human voices upon Sabbath-days ; 
That art in churches is a thing abhorr d, 
And architecture odious to the Lord ; 
That none, who pray with other forms than he, 
Shall share the blessings of Eternity. 

Down, bigot, down ! too proud and blind to know, 
That God, who f ashion'd all things here below, 
Made music and the arts ; that organ- tones 
Are His creation* ; that the starry zones 
And pomp of the cathedral, both alike 
Were form'd by Him. Men's hands can delve or strik.3* 
And build or overthrow ; but all their power 
Is God's alone. Poor creature of an hour, 
Be humble and confess how small art thou ! 
Wouldst carry all God's wisdom on thy brow ? 
And in the limits of thy sect confine, 
The infinite mercy of His Love divine ? 

Hate in the pulpit ! Down, intruder, down ! 
The place is holy, and thine angry frown 
Sheds visible darkness on the listening throng. 
Down, bigot, down ! thy heart is in the wrong ! 



396 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 



Thou art not pure ; within this place should dwell 
Humility, and Love ineffable, 
Self-abnegation and the tranquil mind ; 
And heavenly Charity, enduring, kind ; 
Patience and Hope, and words of gentleness ! 
Down to thy closet not to curse, but bless ; 
And learn the law the sum of all the ten 
That love of God includes the love of men. 



THE SHIP. 



A KING, a Pope, and a Kaiser, 

And a Queen most fair was she 
Went sailing, sailing, sailing, 

Over a sunny sea. 
And amid them sat a beggar, 

A churl of low degree ; 
And they all went sailing, sailing, 

Over the sunny sea. 

n. 

And the King said to the Kaiser, 

And his comrades fair and free, 
' Let us turn adrift this beggar, 

This churl of low degree ; 
For he taints the balmy odours 

That blow to you and me, 
As we travel, sailing, sailing, 

Over the sunny sea.' 

in. 

' The ship is mine,' said the Beggaiy 
That churl of low degree ; 

1 And we're all of us sailing, sailing, 
To the grave, o'er the sunny sea. 

And you may not, and you cannot, 
Get rid of mine, or me ; 



No ! not for your crowns and sceptres 
And my name is DEATH ! ' quotli he. 



THE GREAT CRITICS. 

WHOM shall we praise? 

Let's praise the dead ! 
In no men's ways 
Their heads they raise, 

Nor strive for bread 
With you or me, 
So, do you see ? 

We'll praise the dead ! 
Let living men 

Dare but to claim 
From tongue or pen 

Their meed of fame, 
We'll ciy them down, 
Spoil their renown, 
Deny their sense, 
Wit, eloquence, 
Poetic fire, 
All they desire. 
Our say is said. 
Long live the dead ! 



THOK'S HAMMER, 



397 



THOR'S HAMMER. 

[The dramatis pp.rsonce of the following fable are well-known personages in the Scandinavian 
mythology. Thor is the son of Odin ; his Hammer has the same virtues, and the same facul- 
ties, as the Sword of Justice in other mythologies ; Loki is the spirit of evil, and contenmcr of 
the gods ; and Friga, mother of Thor, is the goddess of Peace.] 



OXCE on a time, three thousand years ago, 
Thor left the mountains where the rivers grow, 
And took a journey to the world below. 

Clad as a blacksmith, in his hand he bore 

The avenging Hammer, forged in Heaven of yore, 

And sought, far off, a city on the shore. 

None knew the god : he walk'd 'mid humankind 
Manlike, and stalwart as a labouring hind, 
Broad-brow'd and thoughtful, and of quiet mind. 

He look'd about him, pondering as he went 
Through mart and haven, what the people meant, 
With their pale faces, and their shoulders bent : 

And what possess'd them. Lq ! from every sea 
Came in the hurrying ships, with white sails free, 
Spread to the breeze, that fill'd them joyously. 

He saw the bursting sacks of plenteous corn, 
The silk and wool, and all the tribute borne 
Northward, from climes beyond the fruitful morn ; 

Damasks and velvets, trimm'd with sable hems, 
The gold, the silver, and the starlike gems, 
For fair maids' bosoms, and kings' diadems ; 

The glowing art, the sculpture half-divine, 
The oils, the spice, the fruits incarnadine, 
The reeling hogsheads, lumbersome with wine. 

And all the people pray'd and wrought for gold ; 
The few lived sumptuously, and free, and bold, 
The many toil'd hi hunger and in cold : 

But all sought riches ; man, and maid, and wife ;] 
Labour's reward, the victory after strife ; 
Riches, dear riches, aim and end of life ! 

Great Thor was dazzled ; and he sat him down 

Amid the teeming people of the town, 

And doff'd his sheepskin coat and jerkin brown 

And robed himself in purple like the rest, 
Hiding his mighty Hammer in his breast, 
And look'd a king, in all his form and gest. 



UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 

n. 

Him Loki followed, stealthily and slow, 
Loki the jesting and incredulous foe, 
That knew all evil, or aspired to know. 

And when the god had prankt himself in state, 
Loki did likewise, and with step elate, 
Moved to his side and made obeisance great. 

' Lord ! ' he exclaim'd, ' if in this haopy land 

Thou art a stranger, as I understana, 

Let me be near thee at thy strong right hand ; 

* And I will show thee what the country yields, 
Better than clang of swords, and dint of shields ; 
The wealth of Industry, and smiling fields. 

' Is it not good that hungry War should cease, 
The household virtues bloom and wealth increase, 
And the world prosper in the light of Peace ? 

* Come ! let me show thee how this people thrive, 
And how they live and toil, and feast and wive 
These busy workers in the human hive. 

* Come to the palace I have built and stored ; 
Thou shalt be welcome to a kingly board, 
And for thy pleasure shall the wine be pourtL 

* To give thee joy shall Beauty deck her bowers, 
And twine her flowing locks with summer flowers, 
And dart live sunshine through thy heart in showers. 

f Thou shalt behold more wonder and delight 
Than great Walhalla holds, on festal night. 
When heroes drink and gods renew the fignt.' 

And Thor went with him. On his path were strewn 
Roses and lilies. Loud, in joyous tune, 
Sounded the fife, the shalm, and the bassoon. 

On Beauty's bosom, as it heaved in sighs, 
Sparkled the jewels ; sparkled loving eyes ; 
Sparkled the wine-cup ; surged the revelries. 

The god rejoiced; he quaff d the amber wine, 
And mortal beauty, to his raptured evne, 
Glow'd with a splendour equal to divine. 

He laueh'd and sang ; and roystering revel kept, 
Through his hot veins a drowsy pleasure crept, 
And in the lap of luxury he slept. . 

Prone on the couch his brawny limbs he threw, 

Loki beheld- -the scoffer the untrue, 

And from his slumbering breast the Hammer drew. 



THOR'S HAMMER. 



399 



He stole and vanish'd. Senseless as a stone 
Slept mighty Thor, until the morning shone, 
And when he waken'd lo ! he was alone. 



in. 

From Heaven's blue vault there dropp'd a murmur low, 
From Hecla's summit crown'cl with Polar snow, 
Came the shrill echoes of a voice of woe. 

The big rain patter'd it in bubbling drops, 

The wild wind breathed it through the trembling copse, 

The thunder spake it to the mountain-tops ; 

The deep sea moan'd it to the startled shore, 
' Eteriwl Justice rules the world no more, 
Lost is the Hammer of avenging Thor! 1 ' 

Good men received the tidings, and were sad ; 

The wicked heard, and reel'd about as mad. 

4 Ours is the world ! ; they said, ' Rejoice be glad ! 

' Ours is the world, to use it as we will ; 
'Tis ours, to bind or loose to spare or kill ; 
Let us enjoy it : let us take our fill. 

' Thor hath no Hammer ; nerveless is his hand 
To deal red vengeance o'er the joyous land, 
And scatter nations, as the storms the sand. 

' Rejoice, ye peoples ! let the song go round, 
Kings are we all ; bring wreaths that we be crown'd, 
And where we tread, bestrew with flowers the ground.' 

Freed from the fear of Heaven's avenging wrath, 

Men planted vices in the open path ; 

The harvest, vice ; and crime tne aftermath. 

Fast grew, fast spread, the poisonous lust of gold ; 
Youth's love as in the happy days of old 
Was given no longer, but was bought and sold. 

The young were greedy, calculating, base ; 
The old, more greedy, knew of no disgrace 
But want of money, or the loss of place. 

To sin and prosper made the world a friend ; 
To lie was venial, if it served an end ; 
'Twas wise to cringe ; 'twas politic to bend. 

To steal for pence was dastardly and mean ; 
To rob for millions, with a soul serene, 
Soil'd not the fingers, all success was clean. 

Each needy villain haggled for his price ; 

The base Self-worship spawn'd with every vice, 

Its love was lust, its prudence avarice ; 



400 UNDER GREEN LEA VES. 

Its courage cruelty ; its anger hate ; 

Its caution lies ; the little and the great 

Denied the gods, and dared the blows of Fate. 

The Heavens grew dark with anger : ' Thor, awake ! 
Where is thy Hammer? Shall the gods not take 
Vengeance for evil ? Shall their thirst not slake ? 

' Where is thy Hammer, forged in Heaven of yore 
The earth is foul and rotten to the core 
Where is thy Hammer, thou avenging Thor ?' 

IV. 

Through the deep midnight pierced the awful word 

* Bring back thy Hammer/ Earth and Heaven were stirrtl, 
And Hell's remotest depths the echoes heard. 

And miserable Thor, distraught, forlorn. 
Koam'd o'er the world, and held himself in scorn, 
To be so foil'd by Loki, evil-born. 

His quivering lips with proud impatience curl'd, 
On Loki's head nis bitterest curse he hurl'd, 
Plague of the gods, and tyrant of the world. 

1 Hast thou my Hammer, Earth, or thou, oh Heaven ?' 
Earth spake not. nor the spheres, 'mid all their seven ; 
But from the wild sea-waves was answer given : 

* Thine awful Hammer slumbers in my breast ; 
Seek it, oh Thor ! and happy be thy quest, 
And free the world from rapine and unrest ! ' 

And Thor took ship, and sail'd the Stormy Sea : 
' Courage and Hope my comrades twain shall be, 
Where'er ye waft me, oh ye wild winds free ! 

' Farewell, farewell ! to all delights of yore, 
To gods and heroes, and the Asgard shore, 
Without my Hammer I return no more ! 

* In storm, or calm, or in the treacherous mist, 
The waves shall bear, and float me as they list, 
And pitying Heaven shall watch me and assist ! ' 

Northward, three days, 'mid sleet and driving rain, 
The vessel sped ; and north three days again 
It sail'd in starlight, o'er a trackless main. 

Northward, still north, three days and nights it flew, 
And the shrill winds that o'er its topsails clew, 
Froze into sheets of ice the heavy dew. 

North ever north ! The breeze forgot to blow, 
And hush'd its music in the whispering snow ; 
But still the vessel cleft the waves below. 



TllOR'S HAMMER. 461 

North ever north ! Flapp'd out the bellying sail, 

'Mid rolling icebergs and a fitful gale, 

And storms of arrowy snow and rattling hail. 

O'er Heaven's dark vault the darting meteors pour'd, 
Like hosts in conflict hurrying horde on horde ; 
And the ice crack'd, and sudden thunders roar'd. 

But Thor held on, undaunted as of old, 

Through storm, and fog, and sleet, and pitiless cold, 

As the ship bore him, by the gods controll'd. 

Northward no more ! With sudden swirl and spin, 

And clash like booming of artillery's din, 

The icebergs fell